Should Corporations Assist in the Realisation of Human Rights?

The paper questions whether and to what extent transnational corporations (TNCs) bear extraterritorial obligations to provide assistance in the area of human rights. Analysing international hard and soft law instruments and customary international law, it will develop an idea that TNCs should contribute to the implementation of shared global obligations of members of the international community to assist in the realization of human rights. It will bring counter-arguments against traditional understanding of TNCs as bearers of solely negative duties to respect human rights. Following that, it will formulate two major principles for fair allocation of obligations to assist – the principle of a decent minimum sacrifice and the principle of sufficiency – and examine how they should be balanced. Finally, it will explore some good and bad practices of TNCs’ assistance in the fulfilment of human rights in the time of pandemic and during the war between Ukraine and Russia.