"This study centres on the presumption that, given the unprecedented economic power of corporations, it is vital to clarify the legal issues surrounding the responsibility of corporations for human rights violations and to look at avenues for asserting responsibility. Consequently, this study focuses on the responsibility concept for corporate human rights violations and the objective of this study is to explore, examine and assess various avenues for asserting responsibility for corporate human rights violations. The study recommends other avenues for asserting responsibility for corporate human rights violations in Africa. The study therefore raises four issues. The first phase seeks to focus on how globalisation has triggered the proliferation of corporations in national economies in Africa and the impact on human rights issues taking into cognisance the responsibility concept vis a vis corporations. The second part seeks to examine state responsibility for the acts of corporations. This discussion will focus on the International Rules on State Responsibility and obligations of states under international human rights law with reference to certain human rights instruments that confer a duty on states to respect and to ensure to all citizens within their territories and subject to their jurisdiction the rights recongnised in these instruments. This discussion basically seeks to review the dominant approach to human rights treaties and the relevant instruments to assess the available avenues in asserting responsibility on the state for corporate human rights violations. This study will assess home and host state responsibility and argue that the host state cannot certainly be regarded as the main bearer of responisiblity for violations of human rights due to the powerful characteristics of corporatoins. The jurisprudence of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights will also be taken into consideration in examining the legal responsibility of states under international human rights law for corporate human rights violations. Part three of this study will addres the question of asserting direct responsibility on transnational corporations for human rights violations. While some remarks will be made on non-legal responsibilities or soft law, my interest will however be to examine and assess the suitability of human right principles and instruments that confer direct responsibility on corporations for human rights violations. The discussion will also take cognisance of some treaties that confer direct criminal responsibility on corporations for human rights violations. The fourth and concluding part will attempt to look at the need for internaitonal legally binding regulations of corporations. This discussion will attempt to focus on the application and implications of international legally binding regulation in Africa as a means of reforming and strengthening direct corporate criminal responsibility for human rights violations. Recommendations geared towards the legal reform of asserting direct responsiblity on transnational corporations in Africa will then be made." -- Introduction.
Prepared under the supervision of Prof. Kingsley K. K. Ampofo, Faculty of Law, University of Ghana
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2004.