Minnesota Journal of International Law
The rapid expansion of transnational economic activity and corresponding growth in power of transnational corporations and other business entities have prompted renewed international discourse and action over the past decade to address the human rights abuses committed by businesses. 2 The responsibility of businesses to respect human rights has been at the heart of the discussion. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted in 1948, states that "every individual and every organ of society ... shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and ... to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction." 3 The UDHR placed human rights responsibilities on individuals, as well as on every organ of society, which would presumably include businesses. Determining what exactly those responsibilities entail has been the subject of much debate ever since.
David Weissbrodt, Human Rights Standards Concerning Transnational Corporations and Other Business Entities, 23 Minn. J. Int'l L. 135 (2014), available at http://scholarship.law.umn.edu/faculty_articles/221.