In light of the massive economic transitions the world has witnessed over the past century, along with the irresponsible social, economic, and environmental practices of several multinational enterprises, the UN has acknowledged that its international conversation with respect to rights and freedoms, primarily limited to governments, and has been unable to achieve same tendency in enterprise. Especially that “Social” responsibility is primarily related to corporates’ duty. To this end, and due to its vital contribution to the development process, the UN rules with regard to social responsibility legal rules are likely to be reviewed.
Since the 1960s, the UN has started adopting international legal and social initiatives for enhancing corporates’ role in the process of sustainable development, such as “OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises 1976”; “Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy 1977”; (UN Initiative for Business Sector; “United Nations Global Compact's 2000”), and most: Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the UN: “Protect, Respect and Remedy 2011”. All these provisions intended to perfect UN policy aiming at standardizing and moralizing economic activities of corporates by urging them to respect a set of rights. This UN policy, in spite of progressing in the right path, still suffers from several deficiencies in the legal aspect, specifically with regard to the level of efficiency and capacity to sustain activating corporates respect to the above-mentioned rights.
Investigating the legal aspect of UN policy may seem as a violation of doctrinal and literature research, towards either the nature of the social responsibility which essentially lies on a non-obligatory concept, or towards the very concept of obligation in the international law itself, that often adapts the “soft power” and not the “forcing stick” which implies a dialectical character to this paper, and challenges the readers’ insight through establishing a legal doctrine that contradicts the common one of the significance of the mentioned responsibility while “legalizing” it.
The legal aspect of this responsibility has been widely discussed in western legal doctrine, particularly in terms of reinterpreting the understanding of the rights implicit in this responsibility, and the roles assigned to the partners, specifically to UN and to corporates as well.
Based on the above, this paper represents a legal and critical study on the effectiveness of the UN policy regarding corporate social responsibility. It investigates its policies legal framework towards both, the issue of protection and consistency of this policy. It then discusses the international legal control that guarantees corporates’ both, respect and commitments to these rights, either through the legal nature of the international conversation, or through the legal nature of the international control over the issue of corporate social responsibility.
"Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Effectiveness of UN policy "Insight on the Legal Perspective","
Journal Sharia and Law: Vol. 2017
, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uaeu.ac.ae/sharia_and_law/vol2017/iss70/2