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
36 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2014 Last revised: 20 Mar 2014
Date Written: October 15, 2013
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: Suggested Citation