Editor: Radu Mares
This unique collection gathers together important instruments dealing with the relationship between business and a range of topics such as labour rights, security issues, environmental protection, anti-corruption, good governance, poverty alleviation and development, which all have important human rights dimensions. The premise for the collection is that business has both the responsibility and the opportunity to respect and support human rights. Selected instruments cover various stages of business involvement with human rights issues, spanning codes of conduct, monitoring, reporting, certification, lables and partnerships for development. Initiatives of institutional investors, social index providers, insurers, and banks are also covered. Websites for each instrument and its issuer are provided in order to facilitate updates and further inquiry into the issuer's activities. The introduction seeks to offer a perspective for examining voluntary initiatives and corporate social responsibility, one of today's most controversial human rights topics.
Editor: Radu Mares
This unique collection gathers together important instruments dealing with the relationship between business and a range of topics such as labour rights, security issues, environmental protection, anti-corruption, good governance, poverty alleviation and development, which all have important human rights dimensions. The premise for the collection is that business has both the responsibility and the opportunity to respect and support human rights. Selected instruments cover various stages of business involvement with human rights issues, spanning codes of conduct, monitoring, reporting, certification, lables and partnerships for development. Initiatives of institutional investors, social index providers, insurers, and banks are also covered. Websites for each instrument and its issuer are provided in order to facilitate updates and further inquiry into the issuer's activities. The introduction seeks to offer a perspective for examining voluntary initiatives and corporate social responsibility, one of today's most controversial human rights topics.
Author: Radu Mares
This book proposes that the responsible business practices of leading companies are significant not only as isolated instances of self-regulation, but that they also contribute to a broader rule-making process which has been underway in the last decade and is aimed at making business more responsive to human rights and environmental concerns. The flexibility of existing laws as well as the emergence of new regulations relevant to corporate social responsibility (CSR) are highlighted. As CSR increasingly interacts with public policy, some insufficiently understood effects of CSR appear that can help us advance toward more systemic solutions in the business and human rights area. This study identifies variables that states can stimulate through a wide range of interventions ranging from capacity-building measures to policy to hard law so that responsible practices get diffused more broadly and deeply in the business community. The intended audiences are legal experts with an interest in enhancing the protection of human rights in developing countries, and CSR theorists and practitioners mindful of the broader social dynamics that surround the implementation of CSR commitments.
Editor: Radu Mares
The issue of corporate responsibilities has had a tumultuous history at the United Nations. When the Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed John Ruggie’s Guiding Principles in June 2011, it was the first time that the UN stated authoritatively its expectations in the area of business and human rights. This volume captures this special moment in time: a moment of taking stock of a successfully concluded UN Special Representative mandate (2005–2011) and of preparing for the massive task of following up with more operational guidance, effective governance mechanisms and sound theoretical treatments.

The 12 chapters in this collection offer an in-depth analysis of Ruggie’s reports with a special emphasis on regulatory and governance issues surrounding corporate responsibility. How does international human rights law handle corporations? Are we beginning to grasp the complexities and impacts of financial markets on human rights? What kind of corporate due diligence can make supply chains more socially sustainable? Why should parent companies act when their affiliates infringe rights? What is the potential of national human rights institutions in the area of business and human rights? What is the role of states and law in the social change process promoted by the corporate responsibility movement? How do we ‘orchestrate’ polycentric governance regimes to ensure respect for human rights?

Academics and practitioners, policymakers, business executives, civil society activists and legal professionals will find this collection useful as they embark on the difficult but exciting journey of refining and contextualising Ruggie’s foundational work.
Author: Radu Mares

Abstract

One challenge in the area of supply chain management has been achieving sustainable compliance with labour rights throughout the entire production chain, including lower tiers of production. This article inquires specifically around sub-contracting, especially what is a brand's or a buyer's responsibility regarding workers' rights beyond its first tier of suppliers. In-depth literature on this issue remains scarce despite buyer's responsibility being at the core of outsourcing, the very area that brought disrepute to Nike and thus moved corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the international limelight 15 years ago. This article reviews 12 prominent CSR instruments and asks: do they provide legitimacy to calls that buyers should be responsible for labour conditions down their supply chains? Where do these responsibilities end as abuses become more remote and take place at lower tiers of the value chain? What are the concepts, the principles that attribute responsibility to the buyer company and what concepts are used to limit these responsibilities? What strategies exist to improve conditions at sub-contractor level? Reading a dozen CSR instruments with a keen eye to sub-contracting reveals a staggering diversity of answers. The responsibility of the core company, particularly the limits of responsibility, move in and out of focus. Questions around buyers' responsibilities remain open, but there is a wealth of concepts and experience to draw upon. Professor Ruggie, a United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General, could bring clarity in this area of CSR and is invited to reconsider the justification, scope and content of a buyer company's responsibility to protect workers' rights in its value chains.

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
Author: Radu Mares

Some of the emblematic cases of corporate-related infringements of human rights have appeared in unstable and violence-ridden zones, including armed conflict and other contexts with lower levels of conflict, internal disturbances, widespread violence and latent tensions. Businesses have been involved in different ways, as direct perpetrators, accomplices or mere trading partners. This article tracks the issue of conflict-affected areas as elaborated in the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights during the Special Representative’s mandate (2005–2011) and the post-mandate period of 2011–2014, especially by looking at the UN Working Group on business and human rights and the emerging National Action Plans. Conflict was a theme of high priority during John Ruggie’s UN mandate but lost visibility in the post-2011 period. What could explain this change? This article analyses in depth the relevant provisions in the UN Guiding Principles, particularly Principle 7, and how stakeholders have responded to the Special Representative’s policy recommendations. The results of this analysis indicate that, contrary to appearances, Principle 7 is not merely an operational, context-specific principle limited to conflict-affected zones where the host state is incapacitated by conflict; rather Principle 7 should be seen as a foundational principle about gross abuses, about the responsibilities of home states to act preventively and reactively when ‘their’ companies are involved in gross abuses in conflict-affected areas and beyond.

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
In: International Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms
In: The Dynamics of Corporate Social Responsibilities
In: The Dynamics of Corporate Social Responsibilities
In: The Dynamics of Corporate Social Responsibilities