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[DOC] Responsibility to Respect: Why the Core Company Should Act When Affiliates Infringe Human Rights

Author: Radu Mares, Senior researcher, Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Published on: 1 January 2011

This [paper] discusses the treatment that Professor Ruggie’s Guiding Principles offer for the responsibility to respect human rights (RtR) as applied to core companies whose affiliates’ operations infringe human rights. The issue is about a core company’s responsibility to act to address abuses that occur towards the periphery of its group or network…Ruggie clearly entertains a responsibility for core companies. What remains rather unclear, however, is why the core company should have a responsibility to act when it did not contribute through its own decisions in any way to those abuses, but it was merely associated, by virtue of its business relationships, with its affiliates…Section 3 seeks inspiration in tort jurisprudence in an attempt to justify a responsibility to act and thus reinforce Ruggie’s foundational work on the RtR.

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