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The Alchemy of Business and Human Rights (Part IV): The Rules of the Game
Author: Aaron Marr Page, Forum Nobis, on Huffington Post (USA), Published on: 17 May 2016
The BHRRC has emerged as the essential BHR civil society institution... It also produces what has become a key resource in the field: a Weekly Update [that] focuses on allegations of human rights abuses or other non-compliance by businesses... the value that companies put on the BHRRC space is clear. Indeed it is not just “a” space but really “the” space — a chance to speak directly to the very audience of BHR professionals who are essentially charged with imposing “public” accountability on companies under the BHR regime... The platform has led to many success stories, but there are also moments of pause...responses are not held to any standard and every response is published.. [this] means that companies are able to bring diverse response strategies into the BHRRC space, some of which arguably are at odds with the vindication of human rights, or even with more neutral principles of BHR... there is legitimate concern that the BHRRC’s “level playing field” may, in some cases, replicate or even exacerbate power asymmetries between companies and the kinds of individuals and communities who typically lay claims against them.
[Refers to specific cases regarding NXP Semiconductors, Motorola Solutions, ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum, India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) & Kabir Steel]