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Should International Human Rights Law Be extended to Apply to Multinational Corporations and Other Business Entities?

Author: Sabina Anne Espinoza, University College London, Published on: 1 September 2014

…I have argued in this thesis that for both practical and normative reasons an extension of IHRL [international human rights law] to apply to multinational corporations and other business entities directly would not be appropriate. There is, however, a pressing need for the better regulation of MNCs [multinational companies] and other business entities and the ongoing business-and-human rights debate has made an important contribution to highlighting the many ways in which corporate activities can be detrimental to fundamental human interests. Rather than extending international human rights law as such, however, I have argued that using or extending other areas of law that have different functional roles to IHRL, and the coherence and consistency of which would arguably not be challenged by such an application, would be more suitable and effective in achieving more responsible corporate practices and holding business entities to account for harmful behaviour…

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