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How can businesses operate profitably and sustainably while ensuring that they are applying human rights? It is possible to apply human rights while at the same time decreasing cost and making human rights contribute to profits. Yet business efforts alone are insufficient, and states must possess sufficient regulatory power to work together with businesses and investors – not only to improve human rights but also to foster development more broadly. This textbook, the first of its kind, explores all aspects of the links between business operations and human rights. Its twenty-five chapters guide readers systematically through all the particular features of this intersection, integrating legal and business approaches. Thematic sections cover conceptual and regulatory frameworks, remedies and dispute resolution, and practical enforcement tools. Ideal for courses in business, law, policy and international development, the book is also essential reading for managers in large corporations.
MNCs have a central role, responsibility, and opportunity to foment change globally in fulfilling the rights of persons with disabilities. In addition to improving their employment practices, MNCs can leverage their economic power to fulfil other aspects of the human rights of persons with disabilities within their purview by: making physical and virtual environments accessible; ensuring that vendors, distributors and supply chains require equal employment opportunity for workers with a disability, produce accessible products and services, and take affirmative actions to employ and advance in employment workers with a disability; acknowledging the existence and value of customers with disabilities and their households and friends; marketing to such individuals; developing data accumulation and accountability instruments, including human rights impact assessments (HRIAs); and creating a general culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion of differences that includes disability. Acting in this manner would bolster rarely helpful corporate social responsibility (CSR) and diversity schemes, and position the business sector to become human rights change agents.
The passage of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD or the Convention) has been hailed as the culmination of a “paradigm shift” from the biomedical model of disability to the social and human rights-oriented model. The CRPD’s assertion of equal recognition before the law applying to all persons with disability, including mental health and psychosocial disability, and thus amounting to universal legal capacity, in Article 12 and in the subsequent General Comment, Number 1 on Article 12 issued by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee), has been the subject of considerable debate. While many have argued that this is a long overdue protection and a manifestation of nondiscrimination and freedom from coercion on the basis of disability, some have raised concerns based on perceived impracticality or risk. Among the obligations of States parties to the Convention is the mandate to shift from coercion, in the form of substitute decision-making models, to supported decision-making regimes, relying on a “will and preference” standard rather than a “best interests” standard. Even while debate around the exact nature and scope of Article 12 and General Comment 1 continues, efforts to end coercion in mental health and to promote supported decision-making have been gaining momentum in laws, policies, and practices around the world.