Corporate power reaches beyond land frontiers and holds sway over the lives of billions of individuals throughout communities and living environments all over the world. Regrettably, this power is not always exercised in a responsible manner when we look at the amount of violations of human rights in which corporations have been involved through their international business affairs. In order to prevent an abuse of corporate authority to the detriment of human rights, the impact of corporate power should be balanced with a matching responsibility towards all members of society. This article examines how corporate power and the protection of human rights are currently out of equilibrium. Subsequently, it explores solutions in the field of corporate law and best practices such as the emergence of social entrepreneurship to restore this equilibrium.
EurActiv EU’s soft power in Congo toothless on ‘conflict minerals’ 15 February 2013 available at: http://www.euractiv.com/development-policy/campaigners-press-eu-conflict-mi-news-517784.
European Commission A renewed EU strategy 2011-14 for Corporate Social Responsibility COM (2011) 681 25 October 2011.
European Commission Social entrepreneurshiphttp://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/social_business/index_en.htm.
Ferrero Ferrero Cocoa supply chain 12 April 2012 see: http://www.ferrero.com/group-news/Ferrero-Cocoa-supply-chain.
Gov.uk Regional social enterprises to receive support from £10 million government fund 5 April 2013 available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/regional-social-enterprises-to-receive-support-from-10-million-government-fund.
HandyC.Beyond Certainty: The Changing World of OrganizationsHarvard Business Press1996.
KhanW.Humanizing the law of business corporations for good management practices essay for the 3rd Global Peter Drucker Forum (Vienna) 3-4 November 2011 available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1992636.
Nestlé Nestlé sets out actions to address child labour in response to Fair Labor Association report on the company’s cocoa supply chain 29 June 2012 see: http://www.nestle.com/media/newsandfeatures/fla-report-cocoa.
New York Times In China Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad 26 January 2012.
New York Times Signs of Changes Taking Hold in Electronics Factories in China 26 December 2012.
OECD (2011) OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas: Second EditionOECD Publishinghttp://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264185050-en/.
The Guardian Lessons from Ontario: how government can help social enterprise 10 April 2013 available at: http://socialenterprise.guardian.co.uk/social-enterprise-network/2013/apr/10/lessons-ontario-government-social-enterprise.
UN Security Council Sanctions Committee Concerning Democratic Republic of Congo Due diligence guidelines for the responsible supply chain of minerals from red flag locations to mitigate the risk of providing direct or indirect support for conflict in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo available at: http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/drc/Consolidated_guidelines.pdf.
UN Special Representative of the Secretary General Protect Respect and Remedy: A Framework for Business and Human Rights (April 2008) available at: http://www.business-humanrights.org/SpecialRepPortal/Home/ReportstoUNHumanRightsCouncil/2008.
UN Special Representative of the Secretary General Corporate Law Project: Overarching Trends and Observations (July 2010) available at: http://www.reports-and-materials.org/Ruggie-corporate-law-project-Jul-2010.pdf.
UN Special Representative of the Secretary General Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations ‘Protect Respect and Remedy’ Framework (March 2011) available at: http://www.business-humanrights.org/media/documents/ruggie/ruggie-guiding-principles-21-mar-2011.pdf.
Wall Street Journal Electronic Makers Unprepared for “Conflict Mineral” Rules 25 October 2012.
WolkA.Advancing Social Entrepreneurship: Recommendations for Policy Makers and Government AgenciesAspen Institute April 2008.
OECD (2011) OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas: Second Edition OECD Publishing <http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264185050-en/>.