Research Handbook on Transnational Corporations
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Research Handbook on Transnational Corporations

Edited by Alice de Jonge and Roman Tomasic

Transnational corporations (TNCs) have moved to the forefront of regulatory governance both within states and in the international arena. The Research Handbook on Transnational Corporations provides expert background commentary and up-to-date insights into regulatory frameworks impacting on TNCs at global, industry and national levels. Written by global experts in their field, this unique collection of essays provides in-depth understanding of how the forces of globalisation affect the world’s largest corporations, and how those corporations, in turn, shape globalisation.
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Chapter 5: The Equator Principles and the ‘Business and Human Rights Debate’: hype or hope?

Manuel Wörsdörfer


The chapter reviews the Equator Principles (EPs) initiative in light of the recent business and human rights debate. It shows that there is a substantial need for improving the EPs, especially, in terms of human-rights protection. In particular, the current ‘human-rights minimalism’ of the EPs – focusing solely on the negative duty to respect while neglecting positive duties to protect and realize human rights – needs to be overcome. What is required from a business-and-human-rights perspective are the introduction of (more) mandatory and legally binding elements into the EP framework as well as the strengthening of the governance structures of the EPs and its association – including adequate enforcement, monitoring and sanctioning mechanisms. The chapter reviews potential reform steps that should be taken to ‘harden’ this soft law transnational governance regime and to move towards a positive and leverage-based CSR-concept.

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