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Business and human rights


We looked at the scope and content of international human rights in Modules 1-4, and at the means available to the UN to encourage and enforce respect for these rights in Modules 5-7.

In the last three modules we will examine particular human rights topics, to take an in depth look at how international human rights rules operate in three specific areas – the regulation of transnational corporations, the elimination of extreme poverty, and the effort to punish perpetrators of international crimes.

This module will explore the degree to which international human rights law can be used to influence the behaviour of transnational corporations. This is a rapidly developing area of human rights concern.

Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • discuss how private companies may impact on the enjoyment of human rights;
  • explain the international legal obligations on companies to respect human rights;
  • be familiar with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; and
  • explain the ways in which human rights obligations can be enforced against companies, including as regards their behavior in other countries.