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Business and human rights: the struggle for accountability in the un and the future direction of the advocacy agenda

Over the past 40 years the United Nations has made various attempts to develop global standards to hold companies accountable for their involvement in human rights abuses. This article traces the growing awareness of business-related human rights abuses and the limitations of the traditional State-centric approach to regulating corporations in the era of globalisation. It reflects on the reasons for the demise of the Draft UN Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and considers the strengths and weaknesses of 'the Protect, Remedy and Respect Framework' adopted by the Human Rights Council in 2008. The article concludes with a warning that unless the demands for global standards and an effective remedy for those affected by corporate misconduct are addressed, pressure for change is only liable to intensify.

Business and human rights; UN norms; Corporate accountability

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