Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implications for Companies
European Company Law, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 101-109, 2012
12 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2012 Last revised: 16 Jun 2012
Date Written: March 26, 2012
In June 2011, the UN Human Rights Council endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (GPs) drafted by Professor John Ruggie, the former UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations. The GPs are based on the ‘protect, respect and remedy’ framework proposed by Ruggie in 2008. In addition to offering a contextual analysis of he GPs and the Framework, this article critically examines the implications flowing from these for companies. In particular, it highlights the steps that companies are expected to take in order to fulfil their ‘responsibility to respect’ human rights and the challenges that they are likely to experience in doing so. It is argued that although GPs do not offer any robust or ready-made solutions to the current situation of corporate impunity for human rights violations, they offer some guidance to companies – especially those with good intentions – on how to conduct responsible business.
Keywords: Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, protect, respect and remedy framework, corporate social responsibility, human rights due diligence, complicity, responsibility in conflict zones and oppressive states, access to remedies
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation