Edited by Surya Deva and David Birchall
Chapter 20: The role of civil society and human rights defenders in corporate accountability
This chapter reviews the role of civil society and human rights defenders in holding corporations to account. Civil society plays numerous roles in corporate accountability. It is civil society that is often first to take heed of a situation, first on the ground, and first to expose the issue to the wider public. The mobilization of civil society therefore often foreshadows shifts in both legal and business practices. Civil society uses a wide variety of tactics, from engagement in multistakeholder regulation and intracorporate consultancy and collaboration, through to exposing wrongdoing and organizing protests. The chapter takes a broad understanding of the definition of civil society, allowing it to introduce a range of actors including, inter alia, benchmarking organizations, labour movements, public interest law groups and shareholder activists. Human rights defenders are viewed more narrowly to focus on those at the dangerous frontlines of human rights protection. Case studies of Pavel Sulyandziga in Russia and Berta Cáceres in Honduras are used to demonstrate the evident risks from both state and private sector actors. The chapter also discusses some of the tactics business uses to weaken civil society participation, and concludes with a discussion of the rationales and possibilities for more positive engagement by businesses in protecting the protectors of human rights.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.