International Regulation of Multinational Corporations - selected web-based resources
by Christian Aid


Business and Human Rights Resource Centre

See the website  A valuable on-line library, updated several times a week with relevant news items, reports, and links to research institutions; note especially the sidebar on “Laws and Lawsuits”. 

UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

[See the website The link to the Sub- Commission provides information on its upcoming 55th session in Geneva and a list of “Documents on Transnational Corporations”. The working group on the working methods and activities of transnational corporations, established under the Sub-Commission, has produced a set of “Draft Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights”, along with related reports and commentaries. (Note that the latest versions may be more easily accessed at]

UN Global Compact

See the website  Includes updates on this voluntary initiative to promote the labour, human rights and environmental responsibilities of business.  See also for critiques of this approach, including the campaign for a corporate-free UN.  

UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)

See the website  Note the sidebar on “Corporate Responsibility”. 

Of particular interest is a five-year study on “Business Responsibility for Sustainable Development”, that aims to examine the effectiveness of governmental and international regulation as well as the developmental impact of efforts to raise social and environmental standards.

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

See the website  Provides links to fundamental standards and rights at work; the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization; the ILOLEX database of international labour standards, including the Tripartite Declaration on MNEs and follow-up; the NATLEX database of national laws on labour, social security and related human rights.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

See the website  Note especially the sidebar on “Corporate Governance” for links to a policy brief and the 2002 report on the revised OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.  See also the update on the activities of the Committee on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises.

International Council on Human Rights Policy

See the website  The link to “Publications” provides access to the important report Beyond Voluntarism:  Human Rights and the Developing International Legal Obligations of Companies (Jan. 2002); the link to “Projects” provides access to some of the working papers underlying this effort. 

Business for Social Responsibility

See the website  Includes a wide range of information in the field of business ethics and corporate governance, including a new report on “Business and Economic Development:  The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility Standards and Practices”.

Clean Clothes Campaign

See the website  Note information provided under the “Legal” and “Codes” sidebars, especially a report produced in conjunction with International Restructuring Education Network Europe (IRENE) on “Controlling Corporate Wrongs:  The Liability of Multinational Corporations” (March 2000).

Amnesty International

See the website  A variety of information is provided under the “Campaigns” link to Economic Globalization and Human Rights.  Under see joint publication with Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum, Business and Human Rights:  A Geography of Corporate Risk (2002).

The Royal Institute of International Affairs

See the website  The sidebar on “Conferences”, linked to the archives, provides ordering information for materials from two events:  “Corporate Social Responsibility:  From Words to Action” (Oct. 2001), and “Legal Dimensions of Corporate Responsibility” (Nov. 2001).

International Institute for Environment and Development

See the website  Note the briefing paper by Halina Ward, “Corporate accountability in search of a treaty?  Some insights from foreign direct liability” (May 2002).

Center for Constitutional Rights

See the website  Along with EarthRights International,, this group helps represent plaintiffs making human rights claims against international companies under the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act.  Their websites provide a range of legal documentation.

Centre for the Study of Global Governance

See the website  Provides links to a large range of articles, plus seminar papers such as “Corporate Responsibility and Human Rights” that emphasise international law aspects (June 2001).

Friends of the Earth International

See the website, especially “Briefing:  Towards Binding Corporate Accountability”.

World Development Movement

See the website, especially “Briefing on Regulating TNCs:  Making Investment Work for People”.

European Union

See the website, linking to the Department for Employment and Social Affairs, and then to the Corporate Social Responsibility page.  Note the EU Green Paper entitled “Promoting a European Framework for Corporate Social Responsibility” (July 2001) and other initiatives.

UK Department of Trade and Industry

See the website, for information on a variety of national and international activities, including the new companies bill.

Voluntary Initiatives

While this workshop focuses on legally binding standards for corporations, sources for voluntary initiatives on social, human rights and environmental questions include:

CSR Europe,; AccountAbility 1000,; Ethical Trading Initiative,; Global Reporting Initiative (GRI),; International Chamber of Commerce,  Also, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service provides helpful selection of readings, bibliography and website references in Voluntary Approaches to Corporate Responsibility (May 2002), available under the dossier publications list on

Christian Aid

See the website, especially the link to the trade campaign. The book by Mark Curtis, Trade for Life:  Making Trade Work for the Poor; explains the need for TNC regulation and recommends the establishment of a global regulatory authority to enforce a corporate code of conduct on human rights and environmental standards. 

Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD)

See the website, especially the link to “Trade & Environment”.

Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD)

See the website, especially the link to “Policy Briefings – Private Sector”.


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