Social impact and human rights for the air cargo industry

In our previous blogs, we introduced the major ESG challenges that the air cargo industry faces and explored the aspect of environmental sustainability. We have also seen that ESG has three different dimensions: the environment, social responsibility, and governance. In this blog, we will focus on the human rights part of the ESG equation.

What are the main challenges and most pressing issues that air cargo companies face when dealing with the social aspect of ESG legislation and compliance? And how can these organizations overcome the most important social challenges? Read on to find out!

ESG legislation

EU ESG legislation and international protocols cover much more than just the environment. They also have a significant social dimension that focuses on topics such as:

  • Violations of rights and prohibitions included in international rights agreements and fundamental freedom conventions. Protection against racial and cultural discrimination, children’s rights, and protection against torture and inhumane treatment are prime examples of internationally acknowledged social rights.
  • Violations of internationally recognized objectives and prohibitions included in environmental conventions. This means that people should have access to clean drinking water and a healthy living environment. 
  • Due diligence and governance are also important aspects of ESG legislation and frameworks.

Human rights and the air cargo industry

There are specific areas within the wider realm of human rights and social justice that are related to the air cargo industry. Let us take a quick look at the most important ones.*

The right to life and security

The right to life and security means that nobody, including the government of a country, has the right to end your life or compromise your security. It also means that governments and private organizations must take steps to protect people if their lives and security are at stake. In the air cargo industry, the right to life and security applies to moving people across borders.

The prohibition of human trafficking

Another social ESG topic that relates to the movement of people across borders is the prohibition of human trafficking. This encompasses practices prohibited under international law, such as debt bondage, slavery, servitude, child sexual exploitation, forced marriage and enforced prostitution. Despite the existence of a solid international legal framework, millions of girls, boys, women and men continue to be trafficked each year.

Prevent any measurable environmental degradation

The prohibition of causing any measurable environmental degradation includes environmental and social aspects, such as harmful soil change, water or air pollution, harmful emissions, excessive water consumption, or other forms of detrimental human impact on natural resources. Issues concerning the environment come into play when air cargo carriers move hazardous materials or waste across country borders.

Violation of the right to enjoy just and favorable conditions of work

The right to enjoy just and favorable conditions of work obliges air cargo carriers to offer their employees a fair wage, decent living, safe and healthy working conditions, and a reasonable limitation of working hours in accordance with Article 7 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.

social impacts and hurman rights

What are the pressing issues?

Although all of the aforementioned topics are incredibly important, some issues are more pressing and prevalent than others in relation to the air cargo industry. The most pressing ESG human rights issues in air cargo are:

  1. Human trafficking. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female, and half are children. Armed conflict and displacement are major drivers of human trafficking.
  2. Crime and fraud in international trade. Several countries have them and prohibit trade with certain countries and/or companies. For example, the United States has blacklisted several Chinese companies since they consider them to be a threat to international and U.S. national security. 

How companies can overcome ESG human rights challenges

Meeting social ESG challenges requires the right tooling and data insights. Be Informed’s ITTS Passenger offers a comprehensive approach to business transformation and long-term company sustainability. We combine aviation expertise, robust technology, and a deep engagement process. 

The solution offers a wide and diverse plethora of interesting, valuable, and practically deployable features. 

  • ITTS Passenger processes PNR/API data from booking systems and departure control systems.
  • The solution creates an electronic dossier for each passenger journey.
  • ITTS Passenger screens passengers for sanctions and security risks. It also investigates risks and assesses passengers for compliance.
  • The tool checks passengers for necessary visas and health certificates.
  • ITTS Passenger builds a comprehensive electronic dossier for each passenger journey.
  • Our ESG compliance tool communicates results, notifies authorities, and provides on-demand status reports.

Discover the possibility!

Speak to our experts about your issues on international trade and transport compliance.

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