Commentary: "Channelling Sir Geoffrey Chandler on the history and future of business and human rights"

Author: Bennett Freeman, on Institute for Human Rights and Business Blog, Published on: 19 December 2018

06 December 2018

 …Sir Geoffrey was our leader in the early history of the business and human rights …Sir Geoffrey might tell us ‎some hard truths about the business and human rights movement...The UN Guiding Principles are the floor but not the ceiling and while it remains more urgent to nail down the floor, it will always be even more important to raise the ceiling…Corporate responsibility for human rights may be established as a principle but remains to be realised by most companies - and even then is only a way station toward corporate accountability for human rights.…Corporate responsibility and accountability are necessary but not sufficient and should supplement, not supplant, government responsibility and accountability…The shared space of civic freedoms should align business and civil society and if taken for granted and not defended by companies, will be further degraded to the detriment of both.…After making the business case for human rights as eloquently and persuasively as anyone ever has or ever will, [Geoffrey Chandler] would remind us "to hell with the business case; it's about doing the right thing."

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