State Duty to protect Human Rights against Violations by Businesses

From Hanoi, 14th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights – November 18-20, 2014

Humans are social beings, and the kind of creature that a person becomes depends crucially on the social, cultural and institutional circumstances of his life. We are therefore led to inquire into the social arrangements that are conducive to people’s rights and welfare, and to fulfilling their just aspirations — in brief, the common good.

Concern for the common good should impel us to find ways to cultivate human development in its richest diversity. Therefore, in business contemporary world Human Rights nexus are on three pillars i.e. state duty to protect human rights against violations by businesses, businesses has to respect human rights and third remedy against the violations.

Below the general outline areas which indicate the broader policy framework to design and develop business and human rights national plans.

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General Regulatory and Policy Functions

1. Regulatory Tools and Challenges: What measures, both preventive and remedial, can States take to address human rights abuses by businesses, especially transnational corporations? (Successful case studies, best practices of state protection). What are the challenges faced by States in this regard?

2. Trans-national Business: What is the State’s responsibility in ensuring observance of human rights by its Transnational Companies (TNCs) in another country, especially if the other country is not party to certain international treaties (or if it doesn’t regulate against that particular human rights violation)? What efforts can it undertake to prevent human rights violations by its TNCs?

3. Supply Chains: What kind of support (both legal and non-legal) could States provide to companies to encourage responsible supply chain management?

State-Business Nexus

4. When contracting out State Functions, how can States ensure that private firms will respect human rights? What (internationally accepted) training/certification do private contractors need to undergo? What is the collaboration required between states and private security companies at the local, regional and international levels?

Policy Coherence and Regional and International Cooperation

5. When there is no region – wide enforcement or regulation of company fair practices, how can states improve human rights protection from corporate violation at the regional level.

6. What strategies can be utilized to ensure that states are able to adhere and flow the international labour standards to which they have subscribed?

7. What kind of cooperation is needed between states to ensure that economic production does not infringe upon the human rights of populations in host and home countries?

8. How can states best utilize existing for a such as such the Universal Periodic Review to learn and apply in their own domestic protection duties?

9. Due to the nature of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and their exemption from some federal laws, how do governments improve human rights observance while still maintaining SEZs purpose and effectiveness?

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