Human Rights and a Corporation's Duty to Combat Corruption

Law, Business and Human Rights: Bridging the Gap (Robert Bird, Dan Cahoy, and Jamie Prenkert, eds). Edward Elgar Publishing, Forthcoming

Ross School of Business Paper No. 1226

36 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2014 Last revised: 20 Mar 2014

See all articles by Norman Bishara

Norman Bishara

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

David Hess

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

Date Written: October 15, 2013

Abstract

Increasingly, there is awareness that corruption and human rights are intimately connected. However, the debates and reform proposals on improving corporations’ social performance in these two areas are often treated as separate concerns. This article argues that companies must see combating corruption and promoting human rights as connected and complementary moral duties in the countries where they operate. MNCs know (or should know) that corruption greatly impacts their ability to respect human rights. Thus, awareness of how corruption impacts human rights throughout the MNC’s supply chain should be essential for conducting “human rights due diligence.” To accomplish this goal, MNCs should not only ensure that their employees and agents do not pay bribes, but that corruption is not standing in the way of their suppliers’ ability to meet human rights obligations. In addition, this may also include an obligation to work towards reducing the enabling environment that allows corruption to thrive in that location. This duty goes beyond legal compliance with the FCPA or other national anti-bribery laws and must be central to the discussion of corporations’ human rights obligations.

Keywords: Corruption, Human Rights, Corporate Social Responsibility

JEL Classification: M14

Suggested Citation

Bishara, Norman D and Hess, David, Human Rights and a Corporation's Duty to Combat Corruption (October 15, 2013). Law, Business and Human Rights: Bridging the Gap (Robert Bird, Dan Cahoy, and Jamie Prenkert, eds). Edward Elgar Publishing, Forthcoming, Ross School of Business Paper No. 1226, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2388395

Norman D Bishara

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States
734-647-6823 (Phone)

David Hess (Contact Author)

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States
734-763-9779 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://michiganross.umich.edu/faculty-research/faculty/david-hess

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