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Navigating a new era of business and human rights

Author: Article 30, Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies, Mahidol University, Published on: 12 August 2019

In this open-access collection, more than thirty frontline and forefront contributors provide their insights via ranging formats and styles. Each chapter in this collection reckons with a vexing issue in the field of business and human rights (BHR). Individually and collectively, the chapters afford a compass of sorts for stakeholders to orient themselves in an ever-evolving and often overwhelming landscape.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011) marked the ‘end of the beginning,’ ushering in a new era. A wave of new organizations, policies, and activities have led to hope and opportunities but have also caused trappings and challenges. The task of the day is to keep pace and hear through the noise. Navigating a New Era of Business and Human Rights is an attempt to do just that. This collection illuminates the interconnectivity of an array of topics and provides tips on how to diagnose problems and find the right questions.

Contributors invite stakeholders to think about familiar questions and issues in new ways: What if the marriage between business and human rights is more fragile than we think? In order to understand and confront exploitation, we have to seriously explore what it means and how it feels to those experiencing it. What if human rights have no reliable defense against corporate capture? National Human Rights Institutions seem uniquely positioned to become catalysts of the BHR movement. How are stakeholders to make sense of BHR initiatives that focus narrowly on human trafficking or child labour in isolation of more comprehensive human rights efforts? What are stakeholders and business enterprises to do when states do not champion the BHR agenda?...

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