Volume 22, Issue 4, October 2012
CSR and the Debate on Business and Human Rights
Bridging the Great Divide
Human rights have not played an overwhelmingly prominent role in CSR in the past. Similarly, CSR has had relatively little influence on what is now called the “business and human rights debate.” This contribution uncovers some of the reasons for the rather peculiar disconnect between these two debates and, based on it, presents some apparent synergies and complementarities between the two. A closer integration of the two debates, as it argues, would allow for the formulation of an expansive and demanding conception of corporate human rights obligations. Such a conception does not stop with corporate obligations “merely” to respect human rights, but includes an extended focus on proactive company involvement in the protection and realization of human rights. In other words, the integration of the two debates provides the space within which to formulate positive human rights obligations for corporations.