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Kelani Valley Plantations and Human Rights

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Question 1) what do you see as the 'business case' for protecting human rights and putting in place programs to assist the well-being of works and their families?

Our society has been increasingly concerned about how business activities have impacts on human rights. Company stakeholders, ranging from employees and customers to investors and governments, expect that companies integrate human rights in their business practices. In an effort to respond to these calls, companies have committed themselves to voluntary initiatives such as ISO26000, international standard as guidance on social responsibility. However, for many companies it remains a challenge to embed human rights in their operations.

In this business case of Kelani Valley Plantations PLC (KVPL), KVPL has put the plan of corporate social responsibility into practice. This case has great implications for us. According to the case, the company's clients and associates have become convinced of the value of the company's initiatives and been motivated to become partners in specific programs. Without spending a large amount of money on marketing, the company's initiatives have enabled themselves to maintain better relationships with the community and sustain its growth.

Question 2) what are the risks to the company of not engaging in programmes to assist in workers' protection and development?

Respecting human rights is the right thing to do. It is in line with core business values such as respect for people and equal opportunity. Human rights due diligence would be good risk management. It helps protect business values by maintaining its reputation in the markets, avoiding strikes by labor unions, boycotts and protest by customers, and prevents disputes from becoming costly law suits or damaging public campaigns. Human rights increasingly helps raising the bottom line as it assists companies in understanding different individuals' needs and makes a company more attractive to investors and prospective employees.

For that reasons I mentioned above, if KVPL does not engage in programs to assist in worker's protection and development, the company would not have benefits earned by being with corporate social responsibility.

Question 3) How might you measure the benefits of an initiative such as this one?

As mentioned in the end of this business case article, the benefits of a company's initiatives in terms of corporate social responsibility as outputs are not easily measurable, while support funds and volunteer time spending as inputs are easily measurable. Measurement of performance makes it easier to manage. If it is so, how do we measure the benefits of initiatives in corporate social responsibility?

In many cases, it seems that the time frame of the costs and benefits can be out of



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