Business and Human Rights:
Regardless of their size, activity sector, operational context, or structure, businesses can fill a relevant role in the political, economic, and social life of populations, and be key actors for the effective enjoyment of human rights. However, they can also reinforce the already-existing inequalities in societies and get involved in human rights abuses and violations, often in a serious and reiterated way. The Inter-American human rights system has not remained idle to these situations and has referred to the human rights instances where there is an involvement of businesses or economic actors and States do not comply with their corresponding obligations.
The objective of this report is to clarify State obligations regarding human rights in the context of business activities and the effects that they can generally have upon businesses, drawing from the Inter-American legal experience. Moreover, it seeks to strengthen action on prevention, due diligence, oversight, accountability, and access to timely and adequate reparations for the victims of these situations. It also refers to specific contexts of special attention on this topic within the continent, as well as the differentiated impacts on people and groups in vulnerable situations.
Inter-American Fundamental Criteria
Centrality of the person and human dignity
Universality, Indivisibility, Interdependence and Interrelatedness of Human Rights
Right to development
Extraterritorial Application of States' obligations and duty to cooperate
Measures taken by home States to regulate, monitor, prevent or investigate the behavior of companies domiciled in their territory that involve impacts on the realization of human rights outside their territory should not contravene other principles of general international law.
Effects of State obligations on businesses
It is widely accepted that respect for human rights is a global standard of conduct applicable to all businesses.
Under international human rights law, it is States that originally assume directly the obligations set out therein.
Inter-American contexts of special attention