Corporate human rights abuses committed by European transnational companies in Third Countries within the textile, oil and defence sector. Theory-practice inconsistencies in the UNGPs implementation process at EU level

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García Álvarez, Julia
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The economic globalisation has facilitated opportunities for businesses such as the expansion of their business structure, exports of goods and services and operational outsourcing worldwide. Nevertheless, this phenomenon has also brought challenges for human rights protection. In Europe, human rights treaties attribute human rights obligations to the EU and EU Member States, hence they are accountable for protecting human rights from corporate harm. In addition, the EU committed to comply with UNGPs since they were elaborated. However, these obligations become diffuse when European Transnational businesses operate in third countries. These countries present low human rights standards, serious episodes of corruption and non-independent judicial systems. Several European multinationals, whose codes of conduct have non-legally binding nature, take advantage of such issues and neither do comply with their obligation to respect human rights, nor assume responsibility when abuses have been committed. And jurisdictional challenges at national and international level impede the achievement of effective remediation. Three sectors are especially vulnerable towards corporate abuses committed by European businesses: textile, oil and defence sectors. In this research work, three real cases of human rights abuses committed within these sectors are analysed, taking into account the legal and procedural barriers, the breaches of UNGPs, and the lack of effective actions provided by the EU Member States in question to tackle the challenges.
Second semester University: Université Libre de Bruxelles
business, human rights, transnational corporations, European Union, international obligations, United Nations, corporate responsibility