Business corporations can and do violate human rights all over the world and they are often not being held to account. Emblematic cases and situations such as the state of the Niger Delta and the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory are examples of what appears to be systemic corporate ... human rights abuses which are not being adequately prevented and remedied. The picture seems to be one of limited accountability of business in the human rights area. 'Business and human rights' as a field seeks to enhance the accountability of business - companies and business people - in the human rights area or, to phrase it differently, to bridge the accountability gap. Bridging the accountability gap is to be understood as both setting standards and attempting to change corporate behaviours so that they become respectful of human rights; and holding corporations and business people to account if violations occur.Adopting a legal perspective, this book presents the ways in which this dual undertaking has been and could be further carried out in the future, and evaluates the extent to which the various initiatives in the field bridge the corporate accountability gap. It looks at the historical background of the field of business and human rights, and examines salient periods, events and cases. The book then goes on to explore the relevance of international human rights law and international criminal law for global business. International soft law and policy initiatives which have blossomed in recent years are evaluated along with private modes of regulation in the business and human rights arena. The book also examines how domestic law, especially the domestic law of home countries of multinational companies, can be used to prevent and redress corporate-related human rights violations.
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