Online ISSN: 2519-9722 | Print ISSN: 2522-6789
Volume 2 Number 12 December 2017
The Interrelationship Between Human Rights & Corporate Social Responsibility Promoting Moral CapitalismPages: 114-121
Authors: Kathleen Okafor
In 2014, over 100,000 transnational corporations (TNC) were operating with over 1 Million foreign affiliates, generating an estimated US$7 trillion in value added, employing over 64 million workers and exporting goods and services valued at more than US$28 trillion . With increased globalisation, national governments, even the most powerful among them, face growing difficulty in controlling the activities of these powerful and rich corporations (Sethi, 2003) . The desire to gain control of natural resources was the driving force behind the conquest of non-European peoples and the establishment of colonies. A significant proportion of corporate violations of human rights or complicity in such abuses take place within third world countries. The social norm was that capitalism works best through a system of ethics and trust for successful use of market mechanisms and institutions. Rather, the practice of immoral capitalism has deeply generated environmental degradation, corporate oligopolies, and economic gorillas, economic inequalities, where less that 20% of humanity controls the wealth of nations and the gap between rich and poor countries has grown 10 times during the past thirty years. Post-colonial international rules had been developed to justify and protect post-colonial interests. Juxtaposition of western concepts of law provided the necessary protection of private property. Expectedly, new independent states have claimed sovereignty and control over their natural resources requesting for a new international economic order rather than the pre-existing rules which were tainted by undue economic and political influence. In response, the international community has generated global codes of ethics and social responsibility to regulate the conduct of business without addressing the causative factors of the inequality, nor any retributive justice for past corporate violations and ethical breaches.
Already, many local and transnational, business organisations practice corporate social responsibility (CSR) with integrated human rights policies. However, there is need for students of Law, judges, legislatures and corporate administrators to understand the nature and boundaries of the practice of each concept and the respective results.
Accordingly, this paper simply seeks to reorient the questions on the true interfaces and boundaries of Human Rights, and CSR and also to review the international framework for administering CSR.