On the face of it, human rights and the company seem worlds apart, and like oil and water, an impossible mix. But reality is proving otherwise. Every day brings more tangible and visible evidence of how closely human rights and today's enterprises are linked, the key perspective being corporate social responsibility (CSR). Until recently, human rights were mostly thought to inhabit the domain of rights and duties of states, never (compliance with the law apart) the corporate domain. Although currently gaining ground in theoretical debates and in the practice of some companies, the issue is not really a new one. The mid-1970s had seen a dawning realization of how company power was extending beyond economic to political, cultural and social areas. Since then, the continuous evolution of company activities and power seem to have radically restructured the equilibrium of their relations with the State and society. Nowadays, companies are among the most decisive actors in determining how human rights are put into practice.

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Prandi Chevalier, Maria; Lozano Soler, Josep M

Corporate social responsibility and human rights

2005
On the face of it, human rights and the company seem worlds apart, and like oil and water, an impossible mix. But reality is proving otherwise. Every day brings more tangible and visible evidence of how closely human rights and today's enterprises are linked, the key perspective being corporate social responsibility (CSR). Until recently, human rights were mostly thought to inhabit the domain of rights and duties of states, never (compliance with the law apart) the corporate domain. Although currently gaining ground in theoretical debates and in the practice of some companies, the issue is not really a new one. The mid-1970s had seen a dawning realization of how company power was extending beyond economic to political, cultural and social areas. Since then, the continuous evolution of company activities and power seem to have radically restructured the equilibrium of their relations with the State and society. Nowadays, companies are among the most decisive actors in determining how human rights are put into practice.
More Knowledge
Corporate social responsibility and human rights
Prandi Chevalier, Maria; Lozano Soler, Josep M
In Corporate social responsibility: The corporate governance of the 21st century
R. Mullerat (ed.)
The Hague: Wolters Kluwer Law International, 2005
p. 183 - 203
International Bar Association Series

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