Corporations and Human Rights

Prof. Steven Ratner, University of Michigan, USA

02/05, 24/05 16:00-19:30 zoom || 08/05, 10/05, 17/05 16:00-19:30 || 15/05 12:00-15:30

The last three decades have witnessed a deluge of global, national, and local interest in the impact of business activities on the enjoyment of human rights. From reports of sweatshops used for apparel production, to economic activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, to concerns about high-tech’s threats to privacy, numerous stakeholders are pondering the possibilities for regulation of business regarding their human rights impacts. The forms and loci of regulation vary enormously, and debates have deepened over which sort of regulation is legitimate or effective. This class will offer a deep dive into the topic, as we consider the changing landscape in international law on business and human rights, particularly since the issuance by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We will examine the roles for different actors – states, companies, investors, and others – in regulating business behavior, as well as the possibilities for remedies for those affected by corporate behavior in judicial and other venues. The course will consider numerous different sectors (although certainly not all), with a more detailed treatment of several particularly compelling issues.