Incorporating Human Rights: Lessons Learned, and Next Steps

Justine Nolan and Dorothea Baumann-Pauly, eds., Business and Human Rights: From Principles to Practice (Forthcoming)

7 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2015 Last revised: 24 Apr 2019

See all articles by John Gerard Ruggie

John Gerard Ruggie

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: June 20, 2015

Abstract

The UN Guiding Principles mark the first time the international community has adopted a set of standards stipulating the obligations of states and the responsibilities of corporations in relation to business and human rights. They succeeded where previous such efforts failed. Critics believe it is because the Guiding Principles do not, in themselves, impose new legal obligations on states or businesses. This is a partial and therefore misleading answer. More to the point is that they broke through certain conventional conceptual and doctrinal shackles. These had contributed to past failures, and they would do so again if turned loose on future developments. Hence this chapter is divided into two parts: summarizing the premises underlying the Guiding Principles, and how to build on them in the current UN business and human rights treaty process.

Keywords: Business & Human Rights, Corporate Responsiiblity, Global Governance

Suggested Citation

Ruggie, John Gerard, Incorporating Human Rights: Lessons Learned, and Next Steps (June 20, 2015). Justine Nolan and Dorothea Baumann-Pauly, eds., Business and Human Rights: From Principles to Practice (Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2633692 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2633692

John Gerard Ruggie (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-384-7569 (Phone)
617-496-0063 (Fax)

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