Transnational Corporations and Human Rights: Strengthening Current Tools to Promote Accountability

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Transnational Corporations (TNCs) have not yet been recognised as subjects of international law, despite their dominant presence in the global relationship. They have no legal standing in international courts. Moreover, home states appear to be unwilling to punish the extraterritorial misconduct of their corporations. Thus, victims of corporate wrongdoings are left to contend with the very limited access and redress of domestic remedies in host countries. In this backdrop, this article addresses two issues: (a) what international instrument that can be best utilised to regulate TNCs' conduct with respect to human rights and (b) what framework may be used to promote better accountability mechanism to hold TNCs liable for international human rights violations. It argues that in order to provide greater access to remedies for victims, there has to be an enforceable standard of human rights responsibility for TNC, one that is internationally applicable. In order to make this chosen standard applied by the broad international community, it proposes the incorporation of the OECD Guidelines into the Bilateral Investment Treaties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-83
Number of pages11
JournalTransnational Corporations Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2011


  • Transnational corporations
  • bilateral investment treaty
  • human rights


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