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CSR is/is not Business & Human Rights
In the second session, we begin our discussion by mapping the traditional domains of CSR and philanthropy and distinguishing them from the issues that arise in business & human rights. In mapping these differences, the underlying “business case” for CSR and corporate philanthropy is always apparent; we then consider whether the logic of the “business case” is adequate for addressing human rights issues linked to a business’s activities and relationships. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages that come with the business case for respecting human rights? We consider whether the move from CSR to “business and human rights” is merely a change in terminology, or whether it represents a sea change in our thinking about the role of business in society. To help answer this question, we consider briefly how Courts have treated CSR historically [looking at excerpts from seminal cases]; we touch on key developments in the corporate accountability movement of the late 1980s and 1990s; and arrive at the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in 2011.
Main objective of today’s discussion:
- To appreciate the logic of the “business case” for social responsibility; and to critically examine its relevance and adequacy for business & human rights.
This workshop has no pre-requisites and is open to all students.
For more information and workshop materials, visit: https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/53562