از مسئولیت پاسخگویی تا پاسخگویی حسابداری اجتماعی، حقوق بشر و اسکاتلند
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 22 (2011) 759– 761
This contribution is based on remarks presented in 2009 to a symposium of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research. It seeks to provide some context and background to the issue of social accounting and human rights. I will firstly give a broad overview on where social accounting fits into the shifting human rights and business landscape and secondly, make a comment on how social accounting complements the Scottish Human Rights Commission’s vision of the future of business and human rights. In essence, social accounting can play an important role in not only operationalising the due diligence requirements of companies in order to avoid human rights harm and providing a measuring and reporting framework of accountability, but also in progressing the role of business as a responsible social actor contributing in a positive way to the realisation of human rights for all.
I will begin by taking a look back at the evolving human rights and business agenda. A number of aligning factors have brought to the fore the need to examine businesses role in the realisation of human rights. Globalisation and the expansion of transnational companies, together with the privatisation of economic and political power, have put business in the spotlight. Furthermore, an increasingly sophisticated, active and often respected civil society can quickly and easily disseminate information about corporate related human rights harm almost anywhere in the world creating new forms of awareness, scrutiny and public accountability. We are now witness to allegations of the violations of human rights by corporate actors around the world on a nearly daily basis.1 Meanwhile the state centred system of international human rights law has historically struggled to keep pace with these developments but is now seen to be entering into a new phase of advancing more robust accountability mechanisms—both legal and non-legal. Incredibly fast progress has been made over the past 10–20 years in the recognition of the human rights impacts of business, leading to the recognition that business has a responsibility to respect human rights under the international framework of human rights, and an array of accountability measures developed to hold business to account for their human rights impacts, of which social accounting is one. Global and sectoral accountability initiatives have mushroomed over the past few decades in an attempt to hold business to account for human rights harms and I will mention only a few to illustrate the journey. At international level the UN Global Compact started by Kofi Annan in 1999 as a policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. This is now regarded as the largest corporate citizenship and sustainability initiative in the world with over 5100 corporate participants and stakeholders from over 130 countries.