Corporate Social Responsibility in the 21st Century

Corporate Social Responsibility in the 21st Century

Debates, Models and Practices Across Government, Law and Business

Bryan Horrigan

Professor Bryan Horrigan spans subjects as diverse and topical as global corporate responsibility and governance debates, practical guidelines for responsible businesses and their professional advisers, governmental roles in corporate social responsibility, corporations and human rights, and the new era of ‘enlightened shareholder value’. He also highlights an emerging transnational and comparative body of law, regulation, and practice on corporate social responsibility. Illustrated throughout with meaningful controversies and examples, the book also highlights the major recent global developments in corporate social responsibility already this century, focusing especially on Europe, the UK, North America, and Australasia, and charting its future regulatory and research directions worldwide.

Chapter 9: Corporate Social Responsibility’s Emerging Human Rights Challenges

Bryan Horrigan

Subjects: business and management, management and sustainability, environment, environmental management, law - academic, corporate law and governance, human rights, politics and public policy, human rights


A MULTI-DIMENSIONAL VIEW OF CORPORATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS (T)he corporation has become a global institutional form [and] the protection of human rights has become a global concern . . . (T)he relationship between corporations and human rights can be considered from four different but related perspectives – corporations as: ● ● ● ● violators of human rights; protectors or promoters of human rights; beneficiaries of human rights protections; and institutions in which members’ rights are important. – Professor Stephen Bottomley, Director of the Centre for Commercial Law, Australian National University1 Corporate responsibility for human rights is one of the great CSR issues of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The unfolding global CSR project covered throughout this book includes new developments in the relation between CSR and human rights that are broadly heading in the same rights-enhancing direction. These developments include the stimulus to debate generated by the promulgation of the draft UN Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights (UN Norms), the subsequent search for new global frameworks for regulation and practice surrounding business and human rights, and the emerging intersections between human rights and various areas of national and international law. They also include the increasing sophistication of business tools for incorporating human rights issues in corporate operations and reporting, the incorporation of human rights elements in business supply and distribution chains, and the potential for multifaceted corporate due diligence on human rights to mainstream human rights consideration in corporate decisions and actions. Business...

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