Corporate Accountability Under Socio-Economic Rights (Foreword)
Paolo Davide Farah, Foreword to Jernej Letnar Černič, Corporate Accountability under Socio-Economic Rights, Transnational Law and Governance Series, gLAWcal Book Series, Routledge Publishing (New-York/London), ISBN 9781138288782, 2018, pp. VII - XIII
16 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2018
Date Written: April 10, 2018
The guarantees and the protection of human rights, in particular socio-economic rights are shifting more and more from the public sphere, from the Governmental, Supra-Governmental and Intergovernmental level, towards the private, where corporations and various other private entities are directly or indirectly assuming public commitments and constructive undertakings. Wherein they have the objective to provide possible solutions and actions in guaranteeing welfare and the respect of these rights to a growing sphere of the citizens, targeting primarily the most powerless and fragile groups within the population.
The expansion and extent of the process of globalization is unquestionable and has gained tremendous dimensions and vast scale in recent time. There is a part of the public opinion and civil society, which is vehemently against the globalization and is afraid of its negative effects on NTCs, local societal values and traditions. These communities are making the equalization between the role of the States and international organizations responsible for adopting adequate governance, precautionary principles and rules concerning human rights and social justice, and the multinational corporations. Private entities are indeed active on the market, and directly capable of putting these rights at stakes or independently protecting these rights into practice through strict compliance as well as through voluntary actions. This means that if multinational companies operate in such a way that they undermine societal values, the public opinion, instead of simply accusing the private ownership of these actions, might consider both the States and Governments accountable, along with international organizations for not complying with their supposed duties to prevent actions that could put human life and health in danger, and also for their eventual omission to act, to take positive and incremental measures.
For this reason, the paradigm shift towards the pivotal role and significance of corporate social responsibility and accountability fostering sustainable development and facing challenges, such as poverty, climate change and environmental degradation, should not mean that the role of public good governance must decrease and the general level of trust in the private sector should automatically increase. On the contrary, the pursuit of profit and power is still strongly present in today’s business models and a solid corporate accountability approach is inevitable to reinforce domestic and international supervisory systems able to step in, whenever the holders of these socio-economic rights suffer violations.
Keywords: Corporate Accountability, Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, Human Rights, Socio-Economic Rights, Globalization, Non-Trade Concerns, NTCs, Local Communities, Investments, Environment, Business, Access to Justice, China, Cambodia, Colombia
JEL Classification: Q40, Q48, Q50, Q56, Q58, Q34, Q37, Q32, Q23, Q24, Q25, Q27, K33, K32, Q17, Q18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation