Transnational Corporations as Instruments of Human Development

Ph. Alston and M. Robinson, Human Rights and Development : Towards Mutual Reinforcement, Oxford Univ. Press, 2005, p. 403-444

27 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2014

Date Written: June 6, 2014

Abstract

This paper explores the complex relationship transnational corporations entertain vis-à-vis human rights in the countries in which they develop their activities. Transnational corporations are crucial to the economic growth and therefore also to the development of less industrialized countries. However, whichever impact investment flows have on the realization of human rights depends on the forms they take and the kind of governance it is guided by. The argument of this paper is based on the recognition that the forms economic globalization may take are many, and that we are not bound to any one of these forms in particular, despite the sense of fatefulness which all too often accompanies debates on globalization. The kind of globalization advocated here proposes an enriched understanding of the obligation of transnational corporations to respect human rights. The paper moreover argues that this is, in fact, the direction in which we are moving, and that simply accentuating certain aspects of the current situation will bring us closer to this objective : transforming TNCs into instruments for a more humane kind of globalization, one which not only respects the full set of internationally recognized human rights, but which also ensures that they will be further realized, in combination with economic growth.

Keywords: Transnational corporations, Globalization and human rights, International investment, Human Development.

Suggested Citation

De Schutter, Olivier, Transnational Corporations as Instruments of Human Development (June 6, 2014). Ph. Alston and M. Robinson, Human Rights and Development : Towards Mutual Reinforcement, Oxford Univ. Press, 2005, p. 403-444. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2446897

Olivier De Schutter (Contact Author)

University of Louvain (Belgium) ( email )

Place Montesquieu, 3
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

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