The Contractual Balance Between ‘Can I?' and ‘Should I?’ Mapping the ABA’s Model Supply Chain Contract Clauses to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School, April 2020, Working Paper No. 73

17 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2020

See all articles by John Sherman

John Sherman

Corporate Responsibility Initiative

Date Written: April 11, 2020

Abstract

This paper examines the efforts of the American Bar Association to draft proposed Model Contract Clauses for businesses that prohibit modern slavery and child labor in supply chain contracts. This involves a careful balancing of a buyer's desire to avoid consuming goods manufactured with human rights abuse and its desire to protect itself legally, in order to ensure that the company is acting in alignment with its responsibility to respect universally recognized human rights under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This subject is quite timely in light of the current efforts of many companies, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to exercise force majeure clauses in their contracts to dump suppliers without regard to the impacts of vulnerable workers in their supply chains.

Keywords: business and human rights, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, ABA, modern slavery and child labor, contracts, supply chainAp

Suggested Citation

Sherman, John, The Contractual Balance Between ‘Can I?' and ‘Should I?’ Mapping the ABA’s Model Supply Chain Contract Clauses to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (April 11, 2020). Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School, April 2020, Working Paper No. 73 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3574811 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3574811

John Sherman (Contact Author)

Corporate Responsibility Initiative ( email )

John F. Kennedy School of Government
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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