The latest addition to CALS’ areas of work, the Business and Human Rights Programme, focuses on the impact of corporations on the rights of individuals and communities. The Business and Human Rights Programme continues CALS’ legacy of addressing conditions of poverty, and the human rights violations associated with it, not only in South Africa but on the African continent and beyond.
Traditionally, the social justice sector has focused on the state’s responsibilities regarding human rights. There are, however, repositories of power beyond the state such as corporations which are, in some cases, even more economically powerful. The Business and Human Rights Programme examines the role of corporations in respecting the rights of individuals and communities that they affect.
Our work on business and human rights also goes beyond targeting only the corporations themselves towards those who provide their funding such as investors and financial institutions. As with our other programmes, Business and Human Rights also takes a gendered approach to its work, mindful of the manner in which rights violations intersect.
CALS is hosting the Business and Human Rights in Africa conference in June 2017. The conference will bring together academics, theorists and thought leaders from African institutions to theorise on business and human rights. CALS intends to collate the contribution of the invited speakers into an academic, peer-reviewed publication. Read the concept note here. The deadline for abstracts is 24 February 2017.