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5 Jul 2017

Tatiana Gos, The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (USA)

Analysis: uncovering the roles played by enterprises in enabling and preventing atrocity crimes

"Getting Down to Business: Uncovering the Roles Played by Enterprises in Enabling and Preventing Atrocity Crimes," 28 June 2017

Contemporary business enterprises...possess immense and increasing levels of state-like power in...national and international political economies...and have acquired both political authority and political responsibility. These enterprises have the means and opportunity to violate all recognized human rights and can potentially play an important role in human rights abuses that amount to atrocity crimes,...[as well as make] key contributions to atrocity crime prevention efforts...States and international organizations alike need to strengthen their political, legal, and practical responses to business-related abuses of human rights...State-level efforts should be coupled with encouragement for enterprises to leave their "comfort zone" and embrace their human rights responsibilities – including efforts towards the prevention of mass atrocities...Enterprises that do not want to be targeted as atrocity crimes enablers or accomplices should adopt enhanced human rights due diligence frameworks to help them identify, assess, address, evaluate, and report on their human rights performance....Companies operating in high-risk industries, such as arms or security providers, that might be engaged in State-designed or otherwise tolerated abusive practices, should qualify the risk of involvement in atrocity crimes with a high probability and impact risk rating. [refers to FMO]