Part of what often gets lost in the business and human rights debate is that there are corporations where the firm is actually keen to be responsible for preventing human rights abuses when they can. These companies usually start with strong leadership at the top that sets the tone for what is acceptable and what isn’t.
I remember as a little girl watching the Tylenol murder incident (where people were poisoned with cyanide placed into Tylenol). I specifically remembered the CEO, James Burke, speaking on television and accepting full responsibility for what happened. Thirty years later this still sticks with me.
The interview below (with Spanish subtitles for anyone who prefers that) is with Burke. In it, Burke discusses the qualities of Johnson and Johnson’s culture and how it led to the action they took when the Tylenol incident occurred. For people like me, who look to business for leadership on human rights issues, Burke’s comments are encouraging.