Business Responsibilities in a Refugee Crisis

business_ethics_highlights_2What can, and what should, businesses do in the face of humanitarian crisis? The commentary below tackles that question. Additional questions worth asking: is there a difference, in this regard, between private companies and publicly-traded ones? And does asking about the “responsibilities of business” differ from asking about the responsibilities of managers, or the responsibilities of shareholders? >>>

LINK: Business has complex social responsibility in humanitarian crisis (by Paul Klein and Dirk Matten in The Globe & Mail)

…Currently, it isn’t clear whether or how businesses have a responsibility to respond to a humanitarian crisis. Knowing what to do is complicated by an industry’s relationship with the government, which might put corporate action at odds with the policies of its own regulator. …

Here are some of the quick ways … businesses can be socially responsible in a way that’s both meaningful and material:

– Support employees whose families are in Syria or in transit to safer destinations by helping to sponsor or employ their relatives;

– Contribute to a new pool of capital that refugees can tap into as entrepreneurs;

– Emulate Toronto Mayor John Tory and sponsor a refugee;

– Offer English-as-second-language classes;

– Direct employee volunteer programs aimed at helping refugees – companies such as KPMG have started doing this in some European countries.

What do you think?

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