The corporate response to allegations of human rights abuse: an analysis of responses published by the business & human rights resource centre

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Schweisfurth, Elizabeth Lynn
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As governments and International Governmental Organisations (IGOs) continue to weigh the pros and cons of mandatory regulation for corporations and as long as the international business community continues to resist it, civil society remains the sole global watchdog of corporate complicity in human rights violations. Using the responses from corporations archived in the database of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (B&HR RC) since 2005, this thesis sets out to investigate the responsiveness of corporations to allegations of human rights abuse. By analysing response rates and evaluating the substance of the responses, this paper will show to what extent corporations are implementing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies and how the policy of naming and shaming can impact corporate ethical behaviour. This exploratory quantitative and qualitative research of corporate responses shows to what degree companies are living up to their public commitments of ethical conduct and what factors are contributing to effecting change . By collating and evaluating the documentation of corporate reactions to human rights abuse as published by the B&HR RC, this paper aims to fill a gap in the literature on the subject of corporate responses to accusations of ethical misconduct.
Second semester University: Maastricht University
business ethics, corporate responsibility, human rights violations