Law, Business and Human Rights
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Law, Business and Human Rights

Bridging the Gap

Edited by Robert C. Bird, Daniel R. Cahoy and Jamie Darin Prenkert

The intersection of business and human rights contains substantial economic, social, and political implications. Global business enterprises and civil society groups must establish a constructive and meaningful dialogue in order to work cooperatively to protect human rights. In this innovative book, the authors explore the role of firms in respecting human rights and explain the need for a better understanding of the human rights of affected stakeholders. The goal is to draw attention to these issues and generate common ground between two potentially disparate and conflicting interests.
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Chapter 5: A co-opetition approach to business, human rights organizations and due diligence

Janine S. Hiller and Shannon S. Hiller


The Framework for Business and Human Rights adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2008 (Framework), led by John Ruggie, created a three-pillar “Protect, Respect and Remedy” standard to address the relationship of businesses and human rights. States have a duty to protect human rights, businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights, and each has a duty to provide a remedy for violations of human rights (U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary-General, 2011). Implementation of the framework is further developed in the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights of 2011, also adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2011). The implementation of the Framework requires businesses to undertake due diligence to identify and prevent harm, and remediate violations of individuals’ human rights occurring as a result of business operations. The proactive application of this process could make a significant impact on the prevention of human rights harms. There is much work to be done as the private sector grapples with incorporating the fundamental principles of due diligence into business enterprise management. In addition, and perhaps less recognized, the business responsibility to implement respect for human rights has the potential for creating new, two-way, dynamics between business and the human rights community. This chapter explores the possible impacts that the due diligence responsibility could have on the business–human rights organization relationship, and suggests a conceptual framework for understanding the dynamics.

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