Human Rights Watch- a Closer Look at the Car Industry

Overview

Human Rights Watch- a Closer Look at the Car Industry 1The question of ethical business practices have elicited a lot of debate in the contemporary business world. At the core of the debate is the need to have a sound business methodology that is sensitive to communities and the planet earth. Then, the question becomes, how pragmatic it is to employ a highly profitable business model that is still beneficial to the general welfare of the community and preservation of the environment?

Take the case of the car industry for instance. Human rights activists have expressed their concerns about the status of humans rights in the industry and the negative consequences thereof. The assumption that car consumers make is that car manufacturers have followed the local, national, and international laws. In addition to that, it is assumed that the car industry have followed the accepted labor standards, code of ethics, and the spirit of corporate social responsibility. Unfortunately, if the reality on the ground is anything to go by, such ideals are just but an illusion.

Human Right Watch

The car industry has been accused by prominent human rights professions of disrespecting the set labor standards in order to stretch their profit margins.
Another issue facing the car industry is the issue of suppliers. Giant car makers absolve themselves from blame by stating that actions carried out by their suppliers, whether right or wrong actions, are not under their jurisdiction. However, responsible business people do not do that. On the contrary, if they notice that their suppliers do not respect human rights, the most prudent action is to sanction them, or at worst terminate doing business with them. In other words, if respecting human rights will mean that the car giants lose some reliable suppliers, so be it.

Similarly, the government should be more vocal and play a leading role in ensuring that there is constant compliance of the laid down rules and regulations. For example, the US is overly sensitive to the question of minimum age and other factors such as the number of working hours. Auto makers should be careful to respect them by all means. However, there are suppliers of auto products whose country of origin is not the US. In such a case, the government should ensure that such suppliers follow the accepted human rights standards.

The Toyota You Did Not Know

Human Rights Watch- a Closer Look at the Car Industry 1Toyota is one of the most pronounced car makers in the world. It has employed a significant number people thus providing constant source of labor. It has been credited for coming up with a number of innovative discoveries, the lean model for instance. There is no doubt whatsoever that the company has me contribution to the auto industry.

However, it has found itself on the receiving end after eminent personalities questioned its human status. The US National Labor Committee made a scathing attack on Toyota stating that the company has carried out planned and target specific labor abuses not just in its own operations but also in its supply chain.
Having said that, the following are some of the issues that have faced Toyota at one time or the other:

  • Overseas branches and their affairs
  • deteriorating corporate values
  • The issue of mineral conflict

Other Notable Examples

According to the Guardian, GM, BMW, and FORD, are sourcing iron from Brazil thereby causing heavy deforestation in the Amazon region. Campaigners of Greenpeace add that the said car companies have a hand (albeit a distant hand) in promoting slave labor and illegal logging in the indigenous and protected lands.

Another bone of contention in the Amazon is buying steel. By buying steel that is gotten through illegal structures and behavior, the said car companies are seen as a rubber stamp to such illegal activities. There has been accusations that these car makers carry out corporate social responsibility as a camouflage to their unethical business practices.

Conclusion

The car industry ought to rethink its policy towards human rights and access if it is in deed consequential. In connection to this, such policies should not be all paper work but also action. For example, the car industries should stop the exploitation of the Amazon region with immediate effect.

Similarly, the governments should lay down a clear-cut legislation policy that will ensure sourcing of raw materials in the cars monitored and. All the same, the most responsible that individual companies should do is to respect the human rights starsards by all means necessary.

Everything You Need to Know About the Asian Pacific Action

Introduction

Just a few decades ago, the Asia pacific region was hit with the worst economic crisis in history. However, since then the region has grown to be one of the fastest growing regions economically. Currently, it is one the most stable regions in the world with a cluster developing countries. According to estimates from financial analysts, the regions hold the most growth potential in the coming decades. It has one of the youngest and most skilled populations. Unlike other regions such as South America and Africa.

Leadership

One of the areas that the Asia pacific region is lacking in is strong leaders. Except for a few actions by some leaders such as the Chinese, most others are not willing to act. For instance, the Chinese claim over much of the South China Sea has seen many hyped statements in the media. However, the real picture on the ground is quite different. None of these countries is willing to go toe to toe against the Asia giant.

However, China has also been largely unwilling to act against aggression by foreign powers. Despite its claim to this sea, whenever countries such as the US have breached the area it claims, Chinese leaders have been unwilling to do anything. Generally, there is a pattern of inaction in the region on most issues.

In terms of business, the region has been unable to exploit its full potential. What is quite clear is that the region is experiencing phenomenal growth. However, the growth in these countries needs to expand to other regions of the world. When compared to the countries of the west, this growth has been quite sluggish. For one, governments have not been acting to protect the actions of their domestic companies. In the US for instance, the President is always ready to support domestic companies with diplomacy and legislation to help them grow. Most Asia leaders have appeared clueless as to how they can intervene to protect growth in their domestic economies.Everything You Need to Know About the Asian Pacific Action

Another area where there has been a lot of sluggishness is poverty eradication. Despite the huge growth experienced in the past few years, little has changed. The common people are still experiencing huge poverty rates. Except for a few places such as China, poverty eradication programs have largely failed. A good example is India. Despite the huge growth, the sprawling slums continue to expand. In addition, crimes associated with low economic status such as gender-based violence are still a huge issue.

Perhaps one of the biggest demonstrations of inaction is in corruption. Asia pacific countries have some of the highest rates of corruption in the world. Most of the governments in the region recently came into power on a platform of change and ending corruption. The current India administration came to power on this platform. However little has changed since then. The country and the region continue to be hit by mega corruption scandals.

A good example of how corruption is widespread was the Malaysian 1MDB scandal. This involved the Malaysian Investment Fund. Billions of Dollars seems to have disappeared overnight. The issue has had far-reaching implications. This has even led to calls for the prime minister to resign. The people of Malaysia have lost billions of dollars and none of it is yet to be recovered. Furthermore, despite statements from the government, nothing seems to move on the ground. Up to now, there have been very few convictions if any, on the issue. This corruption has even strained relationships with the US to some extent.

What Must Change?

Clearly, it cannot continue to be business as usual. Something needs to change if the region is to capitalize on its superb economic growth. Leaders in the region need to be seen to take steps that are more concrete. The leadership, however, cannot tackle theses serious issues on their own.Everything You Need to Know About the Asian Pacific Action

The institutions that are given these tasks must also be seen to act. The leaders need to apply as much pressure as necessary to make sure that everybody is doing their job. In addition, they need to make sure these institutions are free of political interference.

Conclusion

The Asia pacific region has a lot of potential for becoming great. However, all this might remain a pipe dream if the leaders are unwilling to act. As of now, they are at a watershed moment, which will determine how the future of the region will be.

Australia Rallies Support Malaysian Democracy Movement

Overview

Australia Rallies Support Malaysian Democracy MovementThe state of democracy have been put to question. The assessment is that there is something very wrong in the way of running the government and that things need to be changed before it is too late. In case things go wrong Malaysia, and in deed the whole region will be affected. In this, Australia has all the reasons concerned about the state of democracy in Malaysia.

Issues facing the Malaysian Democracy

Nick Xenophon, an Australian senator, pus it bluntly that the Malaysian democracy is on its life support. In this regard, the following are the main issues that are facing the current Malaysian democracy:

  • Voting by phantom voters (ghost voters)
  • voter fraud
  • voter intimidation
  • Discrepancies in election results
  • rigging
  • Outright bribery of voters
  • A short campaign period
  • Lack of press freedom
  • The police’s use of excessive force, eg tear gas and water cannons

The Bersih Movement

Australia Rallies Support Malaysian Democracy MovementThe term Bersih is a Malay language term which means clean. It is a democratic movement, under the Malaysian civil society, which calls for an complete and an all-round reform of the electoral process in Malaysia. Launched in 2006, its members are drawn from the opposition groups as well as the civil society.

Australia Rallies Support Malaysian Democracy Movement

The Malaysian police are generally aggressive to the rallies and protests held in Malaysia. It says that the Peaceful Assembly Act prohibits such protests. The police have reminded the protesters that they risked being legally sanctioned due to their action of joining such rallies of protest. It was therefore not surprising that the police did not respect the right of the Malaysians to stage peaceful demonstrations. In April 8, 2012, the police crashed with Malaysian protesters. Around 500 people were arrested.

During the same day, Perth residents of Malaysian origin have expressed their ultimate support for the democratic movement in Malaysia. They staged a rally that was aimed at showing solidarity to the democratic effort in their mother country. About 500 people participated in the rally.

On the same day, thousands of people took place in a mass rally in Malaysia in order to pressure the government to carry out the required reforms. The walk also incorporated a visit to the Malaysian consulate in Adelaide for a symbolic standing or sitting.

The Sydney Bersih rally attracted a whooping 500 participants. During the rally, various Malaysian activists spanning a wide generation addressed and encouraged the protesters. The activists included the famous John Khoo and Jared Wong. The participants, led by William de Cruz, sang freedom songs. There were poem recitals too.

Other places where the protests took place include the following:

  • Melbourne (1250 participants)

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

A number of people have accused the Australian governments of being mute on issues affecting the Malaysians. For example, the Australian government could have made a strong opposition to the arrest of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim- a prominent opposition leader. It was clear that the charges were all trumped up- accusation of sodomy.

Anwar was a political hero in Malaysia and was a competent professional when he was the finance minister. During the Asian financial crisis in 1997, he shepherded the country to survival. He did not conform to the accepted behavior where political leaders were part and parcel of corruption and mismanagement. He was a man who held strong and solid democratic values.

Anwar has been held in solitary confinement. To make things worse, he has experienced poor health and the authorities either denied or delayed his medical treatment. The Amnesty International has declared Anwar the prisoner of conscience

Revelation by the Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal made the harsh revelation that the anti-corruption officers in Malaysia had found that almost US $ 700 million that were supposed to be deposited to the Malaysian development fund ended up in the personal account of Najib Razak- the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Najib shamelessly responded by stating that the Wall Street Journal had carried out political sabotage.

Conclusion

Malaysia should understand that countries in the category of middle income can evolve into failed states if proper state management mechanisms are not put in place. In this light, the government should listen to the dissident voices and respond to grievances. The fact is that all protesters are not what they are doing. The fact is that research has been done on the country’s political and financial status.