Rights and corporate social responsibility: competing or complementary approaches to poverty reduction and socioeconomic rights?
Osuji, Onyeka K.
Obibuaku, Ugochukwu L.
Journal of Business Ethics
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12 month embargo required due to publisher self archiving policy
The link between socio-economic rights and poverty has generated two broadly parallel approaches: rights-based and corporate social responsibility (CSR). In exploring how legally propped CSR arrangements can support poverty reduction, this paper examines complex theoretical and practical dimensions of responsibility and potential contributions of businesses to poverty alleviation. It investigates difficulties with the rights-based approach and a narrowly defined CSR and highlights justiciability, enforceability and institutional hurdles. The paper demonstrates that conceptualization of human rights is not restricted to one implementation method and recognizes CSR as part of states’ human rights obligations which transcends the narrow conventional human rights discourse on obligations of non-state actors. It seeks appropriate task-specific contextualised definitions and boundaries of CSR in complementing the rights-based approach. It clarifies the apparent paradox of legal compulsion of essentially voluntary activity such as CSR and the effect of business case and ethical CSR models on poverty reduction.
Author's post print version deposited in accordance with SHERPA ROMEO guidelines. The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2523-y