Type of thesis
Master univ. I liv.
The responsibilities of companies in contexts of conflict and occupation How non-warfare-related sectors contribute to human rights' abuses
Istituto di Diritto, Politica e Sviluppo
Corsi Alta Formazione - MASTER IN HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
relatore MACCHI, CHIARA
Membro SOMMARIO, EMANUELE GIUSEPPE
Membro SOMMARIO, EMANUELE GIUSEPPE
- Nessuna parola chiave trovata
Exam session start date
In a globalised world, corporations gained an important position in the last decades within the international community, and their influence continues to increase today. Businesses’ activities have always played a crucial role in the economic development of communities and States as a whole. To such economic evolutions have generally followed a growth of the State or the community in social terms as well as a greater guarantee of fundamental rights for the concerned population, thus having those activities beneficial impacts. Notwithstanding it, the business sector is also able to increase (instead of diminishing) the social gap within a community, since its economic activities can highly affect (rectius: violate) the human rights of individuals, either of a person or of a community. Therefore, corporations, through their activities, can directly infringe persons’ fundamental rights. Businesses can also be responsible for a human rights’ violations committed by a third party (such as the authorities of a State) to which they have however caused or contributed to through the provision of goods or services, based on the sector in which they operate. An element that has to be considered is related to the context in which companies operate. Conflict-affected areas are, as a matter of fact, contexts particularly vulnerable and delicate and the chances for corporations to contribute to human rights’ abuses are even higher, because of the peculiar circumstances that affect both the State (i.e. institutions and authorities) and the population as a whole. The same can be said as regards long-lasting (illegal) military occupation, where human rights’ infringements of the occupied population are almost systematic, and where companies could be considered as accomplices in the maintenance of such unlawful situation under International Law (“IL”). It is interesting to highlight that companies operating in both warfare-related sectors and fields not related to the war effort can potentially be responsible (although indirectly) for human rights’ violations committed by one of the Parties to the conflict.<br>Which international obligations companies must comply with while operating in contexts of conflict and occupation? How can corporations infringe human rights indirectly? Would they be held accountable for such violations?<br>Following these premises, this project of work, at its Chapter I, will assess whether corporations operating in peculiar contexts of conflict must comply with the International Humanitarian Law (“IHL”) standards, in addition to the Business and Human Rights (“BHR”) provisions. In addition, at Chapter II, the dissertation will investigate how companies might be considered responsible for human rights’ violations, particularly focusing on the difficulties that currently exist to ensure their accountability, to which it follows that businesses operate de facto unpunished. Lastly, aware of the mentioned obstacles to hold corporations accountable at the international level, this paper will analyse the roles that companies can play in conflict-affected areas, including situations of occupation, and how they can concretely contribute to human rights’ abuses. Chapter III will conclude with a brief analysis of a case study concerning the current situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and the ease through which corporations involving in business relationships with Israel are contributing to the maintenance of an illegal occupation and to the blatant violations of Palestinian human rights.