Including Disability in Business and Human Rights Discourse and Corporate Practice

Michael Ashley Stein & Ilias Bantekas

Stein, M., & Bantekas, I. (2021). Including Disability in Business and Human Rights Discourse and Corporate Practice. Business and Human Rights Journal, 1-24. doi:10.1017/bhj.2021.13


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Despite significant progress in business and human rights (BHR) discourse and the practices of multinational corporations (MNCs), persons with disabilities and disability rights are absent from both the key instruments and practice of BHR. This lacuna exists despite the near-universal ratification of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as the fact that disabled persons constitute over 15 per cent of the global population and MNC operations impact them greatly and disproportionately. We argue that MNCs have a central role, responsibility and opportunity to foment change globally in fulfilling the human rights of persons with disabilities through their employment practices and by leveraging their economic power to fulfil other aspects of disability-based human rights. Doing so requires the development and self-enforcement of disability-specific human rights due diligence (HRDD) processes, and creating a general culture of diversity, equity and inclusion that encompasses disability.

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