From Talk to Walk: The Emergence of Human Rights Responsibilities for Corporations at International Law
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
NYU Law School
Virginia Journal of International Law, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 931-1023, 2004
The economic power of transnational corporations (TNCs) is undoubted. They are the driving agents of the global economy, exercising dominant control over global trade, investment, and technology transfers. Flowing directly from such positions of economic influence, TNCs also manage to exercise considerable political leverage in both domestic and international spheres. The social power of TNCs is, however, a different matter. For although their social power too is enormous and global, it has been, until recently, far less obvious, little acknowledged, and minimally regulated. TNCs have the ability significantly to affect the nature, form, and extent of social relations. By virtue, specifically, of their economic and political muscle, TNCs are uniquely positioned to affect, positively and negatively, the level of enjoyment of human rights. On these bases there are abundant reasons why the legal regulation of TNCs' activities at all levels of impact is sought, ought to be sought, and is sometimes achieved. This article is concerned with developing the arguments for, and designing the architecture of, such regulation with respect to the human rights obligations of corporations at the level of international law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 94
Keywords: corporations, human rights, international law
JEL Classification: J50, J70, K22, K33, K42
Date posted: August 15, 2006
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