The article is about human rights and corporate social responsibility.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Marketing, entrepreneurship, law, business administration, social studies

Key Questions to Explore:

  • How are human rights tied to good business?

Key Terms:

Ombudsperson, corporate social responsibility, multi-sector, extraterritorial investigatory function

Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

This lesson explains the rationale behind the government’s decision to create the office of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise. The lesson will tie the rationale to the benefits for business and consumers.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Ask students to discuss their understanding of corporate social responsibility.
  • In pairs, have students brainstorm local examples of corporate socially responsible activity.
  • Distribute the article for reading.
  • As a class, discuss the following:
    • Why is the office of Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise important?
    • What does it mean for Canadians that this office is the first of its kind in the world?
    • What will the role of the office be?
    • How will this role be carried out?
  • The article makes reference to the 2013 incident that happened in Bangladesh, killing 1134 workers and injuring 2500.  What was the impact on Loblaws?
  • Have students research changes Loblaws made as a result of this incident.
  • Have students work in pairs and investigate other violations by Canadian companies that may have contributed to the decision to create this office.
  • Have students report on their findings.

Consolidation of Learning:

  • In groups of four, have students debate: Be it resolved that unacceptable behaviour on the part of Canadian companies affects our international brand, but also affects how Canadians perceive themselves.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

  • Students are able to articulate the connection between corporate social responsibility and the bottom line for businesses.

Confirming Activity:

  • Have students write a brief to explain to a local entrepreneur why corporate social responsibility is good for business.