Obligation Beyond Borders – Divisibility of Liability for Fundamental Human Rights

The next issue of the Observer will tackle the question of powerful, global and national stake holders and their responsibility of protecting and implementing human rights.

Recent developments have shown that particularly, but not exclusively, multinational corporations should be made more accountable when it comes to human rights standards. The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights : Implementing the United Nations « Protect, Respect and Remedy » Framework endorsed by the United Nations in June 2011, followed by the subsequent publication of the Renewed EU Strategy 2011-2014 for Corporate Social Responsibility by the European Commission in October 2011 are clearly representative of this trend.

Yet, although these papers recognize the need to include ever raising global players in the implementation of human rights, they still acknowledge the general State regulatory and policy functions.

What are the consequences of such a paradigm shift for the concerned parties? Has the nature and strategy of the fight for human rights changed as a result of this shift? What are the possible risks and/or advantages? What kind of problems regarding business practices can be better dealt with from this new point of view? Are there any aspects that might be left out?

We welcome articles with a human rights perspective that look at these questions through case studies or with a broader focus from an analytical or a human rights defender perspective describing human rights abuses and violations and the involvement of relevant stake holders as well as articles analysing the national and supranational legal frameworks dealing with the topic.

Possible ideas for submission include:

  • What are the consequences for human rights defenders working in areas that have not (yet) received the same attention as those working within the field of multinational companies? Has the global campaign, which calls for a more comprehensive social corporate responsibility, put these areas – and consequently its human rights defenders – aside?
  • In line with the 3 levels of human rights obligations for national states – to respect, protect and fulfil human rights – to what extend can corporations be made responsible at these levels? Are these obligations actually divisible?
  • Does the state withdraw from its responsibility by including non-state actors in national human rights strategies?
  • If there are no national mechanisms or state regulations to efficiently protect human rights, does this mean that corporations have a carte blanche for disregarding human rights standards?
  • To what extend are big companies willing to be held accountable for the implementation of human rights? What are the limits of the concept of corporate social responsibility?
  • To what extent should (multi)national companies be included in national strategies promoting human rights?
  • What measures does the state have at its disposal to ensure that companies comply with human rights standards? How can national Commissions on Human Rights (CHR) contribute to these state measures?
  • Are there any cases of best practice of successful collaborations between corporations and national states?

We welcome articles with no more than 16,800 characters (including spaces) or 5.500 characters (including spaces) (Please consider our Author-Guidelines). If possible, please add at least two high solution pictures (jpg or tiff-format, at least 300dpi) illustrating your topic, one profile picture and a short text about yourself and submit it to: editor@ipon-philippines.org.

We appreciate your response; articles can be submitted until the 31th May 2013 (editorial deadline).



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