Senior Researcher, Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights
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Radu Mares, Senior Researcher at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights, discusses the UN Guiding Principles adopted by the Human Rights Council in 2011 and the impact this adoption is expected to have in the future. As Mares explains, the Guiding Principles are a turning point in corporate accountability, and clarify what is expected from companies and organizations in regards to human rights. The key operational concept within the Principles is due diligence, which aims to prevent harm from occurring while addressing the impact if harm does occur. Mares outlines the need for companies to communicate to stake holders the organizational impact on human rights. In addition, Mares provides clear steps for companies looking to establish a process for assessing this impact and managing it. In respect to large scale impact, Mares is optimistic about the future and highlights the receptiveness of the EU as well as the practicality of the Principles for civil society groups and states.
- The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – Foundations and Implementation, R. Mares (ed.), Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (Leiden, Boston 2012)
- Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework, A/HRC/17/31 (2011)
- The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights – An Interpretive Guide, OHCHR, 2011
Radu Mares, Background
Radu Mares is a senior researcher at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Lund, Sweden, specializing in the area of business and human rights. His work focuses on ways to strengthen the protection of human rights and good governance in the Global South. His preferred approach is to deliberately keep in the picture both governmental and private entities, both law, public policy and corporate practices, so their interaction can be studied, synergies can be captured, and their effectiveness be enhanced. Mares has written on the justification of the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, on the relation between law and self-regulation, on corporate responsibilities in the mining industry and supply chain contexts.
Recorded January 2013