The Global Sullivan Principles (GSP)

Created by Rev. Leon Sullivan during his service of the Board of General Motors in the 1970s, these principles were a proposed means to dismantle aparthied in South Africa. The principals are a code of conduct that organizations voluntarily adopt to ensure basic human rights and equal opportunity employment in the workplace. The GSP is credited as one of the major tools used in dismantling apartheid.
Rev. Sullivan started his human rights work in the United States as a Baptist Minister in Philadelphia, who saw his mostly black congregations needing not only jobs, but job and life-skills training. He developed the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) in 1964, which was the model for OIC International, and again considered one of the most influent programs in the world for helping the disadvantaged find their place in the work world.
These are the Global Sullivan Principles:

  1. Express our support for universal human rights and, particularly, those of our employees, the communities within which we operate, and parties with whom we do business.
  2. Promote equal opportunity for our employees at all levels of the company with respect to issues such as color, race, gender, age, ethnicity or religious beliefs, and operate without unacceptable worker treatment such as the exploitation of children, physical punishment, female abuse, involuntary servitude, or other forms of abuse.
  3. Respect our employees’ voluntary freedom of association.
  4. Compensate our employees to enable them to meet at least their basic needs and provide the opportunity to improve their skill and capability in order to raise their social and economic opportunities.
  5. Provide a safe and healthy workplace; protect human health and the environment; and promote sustainable development.
  6. Promote fair competition including respect for intellectual and other property rights, and not offer, pay or accept bribes.
  7. Work with governments and communities in which we do business to improve the quality of life in those communities– their educational, cultural, economic and social well being–and seek to provide training and opportunities for workers from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  8. Promote the application of these Principles by those with whom we do business.

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