Business & Human Rights: Interview with Joanne Bauer

Author: IESE Business School (Spain), Published on: 1 September 2011

Cátedra: Why are human rights so relevant for business? Joanne Bauer: “Human Rights are everybody’s business”, as the saying goes. But because they are so large and powerful, businesses in particular – be they operating in the developed world or the developing world – can and do impact the entire spectrum of human rights through their daily operations. When care is taken, business can be a force for promoting respect for human rights – but all too often businesses pursue profits at the expense of human rights. And they do so at their own peril...Cátedra: We have read statements from civil society organizations claiming that the ‘Guiding Principles’ does not actually set a global standard for business & human rights...What is your opinion on this matter? Joanne Bauer: I think the criticism is valid, as is the defense of the Guiding Principles. The Guiding Principles were a game changer, but the game isn’t over...

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