Globalization, Transnational Corporations and Human Rights – A New Paradigm

  •  Jennifer Westaway    


The growth in power and influence of the transnational corporation under the forces of globalization has been touted as being one of the most significant developments both domestically and internationally. Changes to economic, political and financial barriers by many developing countries with the hope to attract international investment have seen the move by transnational corporations to exploit these opportunities. There are many who argue that the impact of transnational corporations has been positive, providing employment and income opportunities as well as country wealth. There are however, many who argue that the power and influence of the transnational corporation brings with it the ability to directly impact adversely on human rights and that as the transnational corporation operates outside human rights obligations assumed by each state pursuant to their status under international conventions, there needs to be a new human rights dialogue. This paper addresses the significance of the transnational corporation, the role of the transnational corporation in the context of human rights and concludes that as a result of the global financial crisis that we have lost the focus on traditional concerns for human rights violations and allowed economic and financial sustainability concerns to become paramount.

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