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Anne Vestergaard and Michael Etter

This chapter reports on a study, which examines the evolution of business and human rights discourse in news and CSR reports since the launch of the UN Global Compact in 2000. Through a qualitative content analysis, the study investigates to what extent an expanded understanding of corporations responsibility for human rights is adopted by key actors, the corporations themselves and the news media, as watchdogs and primary sources of public information on corporate conduct. Findings indicate that these actors have moved away from a focus on simply respecting human rights, towards seeing corporations as playing an active role in protecting them. News media do, however, still present this as a morally voluntary role.