Human rights based business: redefining the role of enterprises on the business and human rights debate
Martins, Eliana, Fernandes Vaz
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The Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights reformulate the duty of corporations to respect human rights in order to encompass preventing human rights abuses from direct partners. In fact, the Guiding Principles set out a new paradigm in the field of Business and Human Rights which interprets enterprises as not only possible of committing human rights abuses but also of defending and promoting human rights. Interestingly, while international initiatives consider primarily Multinational Enterprises (MNEs), at the centre of the Business and Human Rights debate, there are other business configurations which deserve attention for their potential of factual human rights’ impact including Social Enterprises (SEs) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The emergence of this paradigm shift with regards to the perception of the role of enterprises in human rights alludes to the possible emergence or existence of enterprises which may constitute Human Rights Based Business (HRBB). But, what leads us to that assumption? And can we actually believe in their existence?