The relationship between business and human rights has emerged in the last two decades as one of the most pressing issues in the field of business ethics. Do corporations have human rights responsibilities? If so, what is the nature of those responsibilities and do they differ in any significant way from those of governments? Is it reasonable or realistic to expect corporations to respect human rights in environments where governments, particularly in the developing and underdeveloped world, need economic development and have a limited capacity and/or interest in enforcing human rights standards and laws? The contributors to this groundbreaking volume take up these questions, examining them from both theoretical and practical perspectives.
Topics discussed include the debates leading to the creation of the ISO 26000 standard and the United Nations human rights framework for business entities, as well as the nature and limits of the human rights responsibilities of business, the roles and responsibilities of international trade bodies like the World Trade Organization in protecting human rights, and the implications of the current debate for international trade agreements and trade with China. The contributors also explore the effectiveness of voluntary human rights standards in the textile and clothing trade, mining, advertising and the pharmaceutical industries.
Scholars and students in management, philosophy, political science, sociology and law will find this volume a great resource, as will activists, managers and policy makers.