Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

SC Contribution – Call for Inputs by UN SR on RtD, June 2023

Inputs – Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development

“Role of businesses in realising the right to development”

South Centre

June 2023

The Human Rights Council, in its resolution 33/14 of 29 September 2016, established the mandate of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to development. In 2023, the Special Rapporteur will present a report on “the role of business in realising the right to development in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other relevant international human rights instruments” to the United Nations General Assembly in October 2023.

With the objective of collecting information regarding the role of businesses in realising the right to development, Prof Surya Deva, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development, made an open call for inputs from various stakeholders such as States, international organisations, national human rights institutions, civil society organisations, and others.

In line with its programme of work, the South Centre is keen to submit the following information to the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development considering the need to achieve progress on the fulfilment of social rights, in particular the Right to Development (RtD) and its interface with issues such as climate change, corporate responsibility, food security and small farmers’ livelihood.


Policy Brief 119, 23 June 2023

Strengthening efforts towards fulfilling the human right to food and the right to clean, safe and healthy environment

By Danish and Daniel Uribe

In the face of the unprecedented global crises that the world is currently facing, upholding and fulfilling the human right to food and a clean, safe and healthy environment have become critically important. The Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted two important resolutions on these issues in its 52nd Session, held from 27 February to 04 April 2023. The present policy brief discusses the implications and scope of these resolutions to strengthen and advance fundamental human rights, building resilience and promoting the role of multilateralism as a tool to face the triple planetary crises and recover better from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Document de Recherche 138, octobre 2021


Par Daniel Uribe Terán

Le débat sur la nécessité d’imposer des obligations de diligence raisonnable en matière de droits de l’homme (DDDH, en anglais Human Rights Due Diligence, ou HRDD) a suscité l’intérêt des décideurs politiques, des organisations de la société civile et des organisations internationales. La tendance actuelle à l’adoption de législations nationales concernant les normes de HRDD montre une variété d’options et de modèles qui pourraient servir d’étape vers l’adoption d’un cadre international solide de responsabilité des entreprises et de recours en cas de violation des droits de l’homme dans le contexte des activités commerciales.

Ce document de recherche vise à identifier les éléments qui caractérisent la diligence raisonnable en matière de droits de l’homme afin de trouver une éventuelle définition commune pour sa mise en œuvre. Pour ce faire, il analyse les pratiques actuelles des régions et des États en matière d’adoption de législations obligatoires sur HRDD dans différents secteurs. Enfin, il discutera des principes qui caractérisent l’approche adoptée par le Groupe de travail intergouvernemental à composition non limitée des Nations Unies chargé d’adopter un instrument juridiquement contraignant sur les sociétés transnationales et autres entreprises et de la manière dont cet instrument pourrait servir de pierre angulaire à l’élaboration de règles modernes sur la question des entreprises et des droits de l’homme.


Documento de Investigación 138, Octubre de 2021

Más allá de la responsabilidad social de las empresas: reforzar la diligencia debida en materia de derechos humanos mediante el Instrumento jurídicamente vinculante sobre empresas y derechos humanos

Por Daniel Uribe Terán

El debate sobre la necesidad de establecer requisitos obligatorios de debida diligencia en materia de derechos humanos (en inglés: Human Rights Due Diligence, o HRDD) ha atraído el interés de los responsables políticos, las organizaciones de la sociedad civil y las organizaciones internacionales. La tendencia actual sobre la adopción de la legislación nacional relativa a las normas de HRDD muestra una variedad de opciones y modelos que podrían servir como un paso adelante hacia la adopción de un marco internacional sólido de responsabilidad corporativa y remedio en caso de violaciones de los derechos humanos en el contexto de las actividades empresariales.

Este documento de investigación pretende identificar los elementos que caracterizan la debida diligencia en materia de derechos humanos para encontrar una posible definición común para su aplicación. Para ello, se analiza la práctica regional y estatal actual en la adopción de legislación obligatoria sobre HRDD en diferentes sectores. Por último, se discutirán los principios que caracterizan el enfoque adoptado por el Grupo de Trabajo Intergubernamental de Composición Abierta de las Naciones Unidas encargado de adoptar un instrumento jurídicamente vinculante sobre las empresas transnacionales y otras empresas comerciales y cómo este instrumento podría servir como una importante piedra angular para la elaboración de normas modernas sobre la cuestión de las empresas y los derechos humanos.


Research Paper 138, October 2021

Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility: Strengthening Human Rights Due Diligence through the Legally Binding Instrument on Business and Human Rights

by Daniel Uribe Terán

The discussion on the need for mandatory human rights due diligence (HRDD) requirements has permeated the interests of policy makers, civil society organizations and international organizations. The current trend on the adoption of domestic legislation concerning HRDD standards shows a variety of options and models that might serve as a step forward to the adoption of a strong international framework of corporate accountability and remedy for human rights violations in the context of business activities.

This research paper aims at identifying the elements that characterize human rights due diligence to find a possible common definition for its implementation. It does so through analysing current regional and State practice in the adoption of mandatory HRDD legislation in different sectors. Finally, it will discuss the principles that characterize the approach taken by the United Nations Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group in charge of adopting a Legally Binding Instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises and how it could serve as an important cornerstone for modern rule making on the issue of business and human rights.


SouthViews No. 229, 25 October 2021

The Post COVID-19 Recovery: A Stringent Test for the Business and Human Rights Discourse

By H.E. Ambassador Luis Benigno Gallegos Chiriboga

Although the global economic outlook seems to be improving for the rest of 2021 and 2022, such benefits seem to only affect developed economies, while furthering the gap with emerging markets and developing economies. This shows that ‘recovery for all’ will remain gloomy for several years, as access to the COVID-19 vaccine continues to showcase the global inequalities between the rich and the poor. In this scenario, States require to make full use of their regulatory and policy space to protect and promote the human rights of all people and persons in their jurisdictions, including the right to health, while safeguarding the necessary fiscal space towards guaranteeing development expenditures to build back fairer and better. It is time for reducing inequalities rather than increasing the gap between developed and developing nations.


SouthViews No. 226, 3 September 2021

Issues in Financing Education as a Human Right: Central principles for public policy responses

by Kishore Singh

The realization of the right to education requires adequate financing of education. Public policy responses to the need and importance of financing education remain inadequate. And now there is a trend towards decreasing public investment in education. Not only should States shoulder the primary responsibility for education under human rights law, but non-State actors should also invest in education because of corporate social responsibility. Besides, the need and importance of preserving education as a public good and public interest in education should be kept in the forefront as regards multi-stakeholders and provision of education through public-private partnerships. The role devolves upon the parliamentarians in shaping regional and global architecture. In the conclusion, the author proposes ten central principles for a Global Alliance to do the task of world-wide advocacy in support of the architecture for financing education.



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