Human Rights and Assigned Duties: Implications for Corporations
AbstractHuman rights imply duties. The question is, duties for whom? Without a well-defined scheme for assigning duties correlative to human rights, these rights remain illusory. This paper develops core elements of a general scheme of duty assignment, and studies the implications for corporations. A key distinction in such an assignment is between unconditional and conditional duties. Unconditional duties apply to every agent regardless of the conduct of others. Conditional duties reflect a division of moral labour where different tasks are assigned to specific agents, whose default activates back-up duties of other agents. Corporations face unconditional duties to not directly violate the rights of others, and not undermine the division of moral labour through practices such as tax evasion or corruption. Being unconditional, these duties cannot be deviated from by reference to the misconduct of competitors. In addition, corporate conditional duties to protect, promote or fulfil rights can be activated if the state and other designated duty-bearers fail to discharge their duties.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway in its series CMI Working Papers with number 7.
Length: 10 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Human rights Duties Business ethics Corporate social responsibility (CSR);
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-01-05 (All new papers)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Wiig, Arne & Kolstad, Ivar, 2010. "Multinational corporations and host country institutions: A case study of CSR activities in Angola," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 178-190, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Robert Sjursen).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.