Ethical Theories

Ethical theories based on rights are very powerful because of their widely acknowledged basis in fundamental human entitlements. However, the theoretical basis is one of plausibility rather than a deep theoretical methodology. Some object to the idea that corporations should take on the role of protector of human rights, and act as if they were states, and indeed the UNGPs expect a lot from businesses as the protector of human rights, while it is still not clear which human rights are most relevant for business. Perhaps the most substantial limitation of this approach is that notions of rights are quite strongly located in a Western, individualistic view of morality. A considerable amount of friction might occur if these ideas were to be directly transferred, if not imposed, on communities with a different cultural and religious legacy.

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