Business and Human Rights

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This chapter explains the field of Business and Human Rights (BHR) as an interdisciplinary area of research and management of core relevance to sustainable and responsible business conduct. Section 21.1 introduces the issue through some examples of positive and harmful business impacts on human rights and recent examples related to COVID-19 and climate change. Section 21.2 is an overview of the evolution of BHR. Section 21.3 explains the background, forms and normative substance of human rights, and their implications for business. Section 21.4 sets out key similarities, differences and complementarities between BHR and corporate sustainability. Section 21.5 introduces the BHR regime and explains fundamental elements for sustainable and responsible management: the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs), the ‘pillars’ of state duties, corporate responsibilities and access to remedy for victims; the connection, differences and complementarity between the UNGPs’ ‘do no harm’ focus vis-à-vis human rights fulfilment and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and operational aspects of human rights due diligence, which is a management process to identify and manage a company’s human rights impacts. Section 21.6 addresses accountability and remedy; section 21.7 wider sustainability governance perspectives; Section 21.8 offers critical perspectives; and section 21.9 concludes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCorporate Sustainability : Managing Responsible Business in a Globalised World
EditorsAndreas Rasche, Mette Morsing, Jeremy Moon, Arno Kourula
Number of pages21
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)9781009100403, 9781009114929
ISBN (Electronic)9781009118644
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Access to remedy for victims
  • Accountability
  • Corporate responsibility to respect human rights
  • Human rights due diligence
  • State duties to protect human rights

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