Transnational Corporate Actors
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Transnational Corporate Actors

The processes of economic globalization in particular have engendered transnational financial institutions and corporations whose economic power exceeds that of many nations. Barring discussion of the intentions of these corporations, the fact is that many of their policies have resulted in massive violations of human rights, particularly socio-economic rights (Twiss 2004).

The policies of the World Bank and IMF — at least until very recently — stipulated changes in the economic and political structure of beneficiary underdeveloped states that led to internal problems of, for example, unemployment, worker abuse, adverse effects of industrial pollution on health, and redeployment of resources away from social programs that clearly work to the detriment of the socio-economic rights of many, while fattening the purses of political and corporate leaders (Twiss 2004: 53)

Economic globalization processes have spawned, in the transnational corporation, a new kind of human rights abuser that is largely beyond the control of international human rights conventions and mechanisms directed solely to state actors. Recent developments in the management of transnational corporations have, however, raised the issue of corporate responsibility for protecting human rights. A few institutions now explicitly recognize this responsibility. While such conscious actions were and continue to be prompted in large part by outside advocacy groups, they also represent acknowledgement by the agents of globalization-from-above that with power comes responsibility (Twiss 2004).


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