The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights: A normative account of the business and human rights norm in the Malawian sugar industry

Murray, James Henry (2017-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study delves into the business and human rights norm that in recent years has been drawn ever closer to center of non-state, and particularly transnational corporations (TNCs), governance debates. To date, the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (GPs) endures as the most authoritative text ascribing states and business enterprises with their respective responsibilities in relation to business and human rights. In the time since the GPs were endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011 it has been cited by enumerable state and non-state corporate governance, due diligence, and policy recommendations and frameworks. These efforts have been made with the intention aligning corporations’ internal governance structures to international best practice. The GPs and its recommendations remain voluntary; nevertheless, this study accounts for the normative contribution it has imprinted despite having no legal enforcement mechanisms. To facilitate this, International Norm Theory’s postulations and hypothesis on international norm dynamics are instituted as this study theoretical lens. This lens is applied to a case study of the Malawian sugar industry that sees both the Government of Malawi (GoM) and the principle corporate actor in this space, Illovo Malawi Limited, participating in processes that intended to implement the GPs. The justification for these actions fits firmly in the context of the Water- Food-Energy Nexus that describes the recent spike in global demand and investment in agricultural land and inputs. Thus, the GoM and Illovo Malawi have actively sort to counter the negative characteristics that has led to this wave of land investments being termed ‘land grabs.’ Through these efforts the domestic salience of the business and human rights norm can be measured. Moreover, its presence in the Malawian context proves to be an opportunity to reveal some challenges that a step beyond the GPs would need to consider and overcome for the business and human rights norm to be meaningfully internalized by business corporations.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie delf in die besigheid en mense regte norm in wat in onlangse jare so al nader aan die middel van nie-staat,en spesifieke transnasionale korporasies (TNKs), bestuurs besprekings is. tot op datum, die Verenigde Nasies se Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (GPs) verduur as die mees gesaghebbende staat en besigheid ondernemings met hulle verskillende verantwoordelikhede in verhouding met besigheid en mense regte. Gedurende die tyd sedert die GP se goedkeuring deur die Verenigde Nasies Mense Regte Raad in 2011 het die verwysings deur ontelbare staat en nie-staat korporasies bestuur omsigtigheid en polis voorstelle en raamwerk, wat bedoel is om korporasies se interne bestuur strukture op te stel tot internasionale beste praktyk gemaak. Die GP en hulle voorstelle bly vrywillig, maar dit het tog die standaard stempel wat dit ingebring het ten spyte van dat daar geen wettige handhawing meganismes in plek is nie geword. Om dit te fasiliteer word die Internasionale Norm Teorie se vooropstellings en hipotese op internasionale norm dinamika gebruik as die studie se teoretiese lens. Die lens word toegepas by n studie van die Malawiese suiker industrie wat toesien dat albei die Regering van Malawie en die hoof korporatiewe deelneemer in die spasie, Illovo Malawi Limited, deelneem in prosesse wat bedoel is om die GP te implementeer. Die regverdeging vir die aksies sit stewig in die konteks van die Water-Kos-Energie Band wat die onlangse piek in globale aanvraag en beleggings in, vir landbou grond en insette beskryf. Dus die Regering van Malawi en Illovo Malawi het aktief begin om die negatiewe aspekte op te neem wat gelei het tot die golf van grond beleggings genoem “grond vergrype”. Deur hierdie pogings word die binnelandse opvallendheid van besigheid en mense regte norm gemeet.Verder meer, die teenwoordigheid in die Malawiese konteks bewys om n geleentheid te openbaar in sekere uitdagings wat n stap buite die GPs sou oorweeg en oorkom om die besigheid en mense regte norm te internaliseer in besigheid korporasies.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102927
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