Business in Development: Diminishing Human Rights? Making the case for a human rights-based approach to corporate social responsibility

  • Line Baagø-Rasmussen
Keywords: corporate social responsibility, right to health, development, human rights-based approach


This paper takes as it’s point of departure the emergent opinion that the engagement of business is needed in order to reach development goals in the third world, and that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly viewed as the key for pushing this agenda forward. Presenting a theoretical framework based on a differentiation between the human rights and business approach (HR&B) and the CSR approach, along with the outcomes of a human rights impact analysis of the CSR-activities of three prominent companies in the CSR field, limitations as well as opportunities for the inclusion of business in development are displayed. The paper defends the idea that a more explicit development of the HR&B approach is needed in the CSR strategies promoted by transnational companies, more specifically in economic and social contexts of development. On this basis, it suggests for the development of a human rights-based approach (HRBA) to CSR.

Published online: 11 December 2017


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Author Biography

Line Baagø-Rasmussen
Graduate of the European Masters Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation
How to Cite
Baagø-Rasmussen, Line. 2017. “Business in Development: Diminishing Human Rights? Making the Case for a Human Rights-Based Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility”. Deusto Journal of Human Rights, no. 7 (December), 67-86.