Business and Human Rights: A Guide to Best Practice: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Business and Human Rights: A Guide to Best Practice

1st Edition

By Alex Newton


176 pages

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Paperback: 9781783537150
pub: 2018-08-01
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The spotlight of global scrutiny has shone particularly brightly on corporations’ adverse impacts on human rights in recent times. Corporations comprise around 50 of the top 100 economies in the world today and so rightly they are being called to account for their impacts on society and the communities in which they operate. Business and Human Rights: A Guide to Best Practice provides a straight-forward, practical guide that can be easily interpreted and read by managers to help businesses navigate this complex area of legislation and to fulfil their responsibility to respect human rights. It explains the potential legal, financial and reputational implications for corporations and the steps they need to take to address them.

The Guide tracks some of the major global developments in business and human rights, including the emergence of foreign, transnational and international law; and the proliferation of multi-stakeholder initiatives on business and human rights. Case studies from a range of sectors and industries – such as extractives, apparel, fast-moving consumer goods and electronics – illustrate the enormous risks and opportunities human rights pose for business in practice.

The Guide will equip corporate executives, sustainability practitioners, academics and students with the essential information and tools they need to quickly come up to speed with the rapidly evolving area of business and human rights.

Table of Contents

Introduction – how does human rights relate to business?

Chapter 1: Economic context – why are human rights increasingly important?

Chapter 2: UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

2.1 Background – UN Draft Norms

2.2 UN Framework and UN Guiding Principles

2.3 Arguments for and against a treaty

Chapter 3: Sources of law

3.1 Domestic

3.2 Foreign and international

Chapter 4: Multi-stakeholder initiatives and rules of law

Chapter 5: What does it mean for my company?

5.1 Legal implications

5.2 Non-legal implications: financial and reputation

Chapter 6: What action should my company take?

About the Author

Alex Newton is a lawyer and specialist in responsible business and human rights. Her firm consults to corporations, governments and non-government organisations on a wide range of matters related to business and human rights, corporate responsibility, anti-corruption and discrimination.

Before launching her management consulting business in January 2016, Alex Newton worked as an executive in Australia’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for seven years, advising on complex legal and public policy issues. Previously, she served in the United Nations Secretary General’s Strategic Planning Unit in New York and as a lawyer with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Alex Newton is an adjunct lecturer in business and human rights in the Australian National University’s postgraduate law program. She established the curriculum for the course in 2010 and continues to lecture in the intensive program. Alex has also lectured in international human rights law at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics