Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implications for Companies
European Company Law, Kluwer Law International, Special Issue on CSR and SRI, 2012, volume 9, issue 2, pp 101-109.
10 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2012 Last revised: 8 Nov 2012
Date Written: June 13, 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 the 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 fulfill 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.
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