Bridging the Gap
Edited by Robert C. Bird, Daniel R. Cahoy and Jamie Darin Prenkert
Chapter 5: A co-opetition approach to business, human rights organizations and due diligence
The Framework for Business and Human Rights adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2008 (Framework), led by John Ruggie, created a three-pillar “Protect, Respect and Remedy” standard to address the relationship of businesses and human rights. States have a duty to protect human rights, businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights, and each has a duty to provide a remedy for violations of human rights (U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary-General, 2011). Implementation of the framework is further developed in the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights of 2011, also adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2011). The implementation of the Framework requires businesses to undertake due diligence to identify and prevent harm, and remediate violations of individuals’ human rights occurring as a result of business operations. The proactive application of this process could make a significant impact on the prevention of human rights harms. There is much work to be done as the private sector grapples with incorporating the fundamental principles of due diligence into business enterprise management. In addition, and perhaps less recognized, the business responsibility to implement respect for human rights has the potential for creating new, two-way, dynamics between business and the human rights community. This chapter explores the possible impacts that the due diligence responsibility could have on the business–human rights organization relationship, and suggests a conceptual framework for understanding the dynamics.
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