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Corporate accountability for human rights and environmental abuses is at the heart of EarthRights International's legal work, including our litigation. We believe that businesses' respect for human rights and the environment is not simply a matter of social responsibility or voluntary gestures, but a legal requirement that should be enforceable through courts and other means. We work to promote corporate accountability in a variety of ways.
EarthRights International has consultative status at the United Nations, and has engaged with various UN processes to promote corporate accountability for human rights abuses. In August of 2003, the UN Sub-Commission on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights adopted the Norms on Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights, which ERI supported as an important benchmark for corporate conduct. Rather than adopt the Norms, in 2005, the Human Rights Commission gave a mandate to a Special Representative to study the human rights responsibilities of businesses. ERI has actively engaged with the Special Representative, Prof. John Ruggie, through multiple submissions and participation in consultations. With the UN Human Rights Council, which replaced the Human Rights Commission in 2006, ERI has also participated in the Universal Periodic Review process, a regular review of each country's international human rights obligations.