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Business & Human Rights: Achievements and Prospects

By John Ruggie | October 28, 2008

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UN Special Representative John Ruggie spent the last several years building policy arguments and an intellectual framework for why businesses must respect human rights, why states must protect them, and why victims must have access to remedies. The Secretary-General has extended Ruggie's mandate so that he can explore how relevant stakeholders might operationalize their responsibilities and bridge the "governance gaps" in human rights enforcement. Two impediments that Ruggie identifies are what he describes as a "collision of norms" in the international system—clusters of law that are not hierarchical—and the inverse proportionality between the frequency of cases and the power to specify duties and enforcement. (Transcript and audio also available)

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