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“Ruggie Rules” detail corporate behavior abroad

Of all the challenges posed by globalization, regulating abusive corporate practices has long been particularly difficult. From Asian sweatshops supplying brands like Nike and Apple, to the oil giant Shell polluting and abetting violence in Nigeria, recent decades have been rife with tales of multinationals harming communities in which they operate — usually in low-income, weakly governed countries. In the absence of international laws that govern corporate conduct, preventing such practices — let alone providing recourse for those victimized — can often seem impossible. How, in a world where national sovereignty remains paramount, can globally operating firms be held accountable for causing cross-border harm? In 2005, Kofi Annan, the then-United Nations secretary general, called on John Ruggie, a professor of human rights and international affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Annan appointed Ruggie to examine this problem and identify a road map forward. Ruggie’s process, which culminated in a set of “Guiding Principles” on business and human rights that were endorsed in 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council, is now the subject of a book. More…

News selected by Covalence | Country: Global | Company: Nike, Shell, Apple  | Source: USA Today

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