Proper powers needed to uphold human rights

Author: Arvind Ganesan, Director, Business and Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, in letter to Financial Times , Published on: 28 January 2011

Sir, John Ruggie’s response to Hugh Williamson’s article “Amnesty criticises UN framework for multinationals” mischaracterises our views. Human rights organisations submitted comments to improve the proposed draft of guiding principles so that they can provide meaningful protection against human rights abuses. We hope Prof Ruggie would recognise that there is little evidence that companies uniformly respect their human rights obligations unless there are mechanisms to require them to do so...It is unfortunate, however, that Prof Ruggie would claim that human rights organisations that do not endorse his views are a greater threat to local communities than unregulated businesses and governments that may actually commit abuses against them. We hope that he will instead use his guiding principles to articulate effective measures that actually oblige governments and companies to uphold human rights.

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