Commentary: "How corporations, activists, and politicians turned the language of human rights into meaningless babble"

Author: Michael Hobbes, Foreign Policy, Published on: 2 March 2017

"Saving the World, One Meaningless Buzzword at a Time - How corporations, activists, and politicians turned the language of human rights into meaningless babble"

...This is the U.N. Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights. More than 1,000 people have gathered here with the same purpose: Prevent multinational corporations from violating human rights...It used to be, companies and NGOs and governments stayed in their respective corners, shouting into the void in between. Now, you all sit at the same table. You speak directly to each other. Sometimes, you even listen. Corporations no longer tell you that human rights are none of their concern. Governments no longer plead that they couldn’t possibly enforce their own laws. NGOs have gone from shouting down corporations to sitting next to them, working for them, applauding their efforts to improve — even when those efforts fail...As the campaigns piled up, the corporations started doing what the protesters demanded. Clothing companies adopted codes of conduct, oil companies trained their managers, beverage brands inspected their farms...The companies here, the ones that are scared of you, are just a tiny sliver of the global economy, a few billion in revenue, a few hundred thousand workers...

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