In recent decades, corporations have increasingly accepted that they have obligations to respect the socio-economic rights of individuals whose rights to livelihoods, education, food, health, housing and water are affected by the actions of corporations on a daily basis. Despite this, it is often difficult for victims to bring corporations to court for violations of their socio-economic rights. Domestic constitutional systems provide, at best, fragile and limited protections against adverse corporate activities, while international responses have been lacking in creating obligations and accountability for corporations under socio-economic rights. The urgency of bolstering corporate accountability for socio-economic rights is therefore apparent.
In light of this, this book asks whether corporations are required to observe socio-economic rights and if they are accountable for any violations. In doing so, it identifies and analyzes the theoretical foundations and the existing scope of corporate accountability arising from socio-economic rights at both national and international levels. Through careful analysis, Jernej Letnar Černič exposes the stark need for greater clarity in the obligations and accountability of corporations, advocating a normative framework for corporate accountability for socio-economic rights in national legal orders which builds on existing mechanisms.
Table of Contents
Foreword - Paolo Davide Farah
Fundamental concepts and historical context
1 Corporate accountability for socio-economic rights: introductory remarks
2 The historical development of corporate accountability for socio-economic rights
3 Globalization, investment and the socio-economic environment
4 Business, socio-economic rights and good practices
Corporate accountability for socio-economic rights
5 Corporate human rights obligations under socioeconomic rights
6 Corporate human rights obligations under specific socio-economic rights
7 Access to justice for victims of socio-economic rights violations
Corporate accountability for socio-economic rights and case studies
8 Corporate accountability concerning socio-economic rights in Cambodia
9 Corporate accountability concerning socio-economic rights in China
10 Corporate accountability concerning socio-economic rights in Colombia
Proposals for reform
11 Conclusions and recommendations
Jernej Letnar Cernic is Associate Professor of Human Rights Law at the Graduate School of Government and European Studies, Senior Research Associate at gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development (United Kingdom) and Senior Research Fellow at the University Institute of European Studies – IUSE, Turin (Italy). He graduated from University of Ljubljana with the France Prešeren award. He completed his Ph.D. in Human Rights Law at the University of Aberdeen and holds a Diploma in Human Rights Law from the European University Institute and Diplome de droit international et de Droit compare des Droits de l’Homme (merit) from René Cassin Institut International des droits de l’homme. He has written extensively in the past on business and human rights law and on the European Human Rights Law. His works have been cited in reports by the United Nations, European Parliament and the Council of Europe and in academic studies from around the world.