One of the most significant trends in the evolution of human rights protection is the increasing role of NGO´s, such as International Amnesty or Human Rights Watch, that have undertaken monitoring and evaluation tasks. Unfortunately, another trend has to do with private actors, specially multinational corporations, acting as agents or accomplices of violations of human rights and the environment. As a result, there is a remarkable extension of the already wide list of potential violators of human rights across the world. The fact that corporations are capable, as private individuals, of perpetrating serious violations of human rights, has attracted the attention of scholars, national and international public instances. Furthermore, many civil actors and individuals as global citizens feel the need to know more about the challenges of globalization and its threats, aiming to a better understanding of the world in where we live. Having this in mind and in order to contribute with some light on this new challenge in the history of human rights, the recently released volume of the collection “Human Rights and Democracy” (University of Alcala – Ombudsman, Spain) gathers essays of various specialists in Human Rights and International Law.
The initial chapter invites the reader to reflect on whether judicial actions lodged against corporations for human rights violations are an isolated phenomenon, or rather they constitute an expression of a broader, more general trend pointing towards a social, juridical and political shift. The remaining chapters address several issues of interest in the effort to provide a better knowledge of the subject: the well- known Ruggie Principles, the access to remedy in the European setting, the fight against supply chains as new forms of slavery, the extraterritoriality question in Kiobel Case, the financial complicity and transitional justice in Brasil, the due diligence of enterprises in the field of human rights, the human right to a healthy environment, the right to water and the procedural ways to claim liability for environmental harm.
La responsabilidad de las multinacionales por violaciones de derechos humanos has been edited by Francisco J. Zamora and Jesus Garcia Civico (Professors of the Universitat Jaume I, researchers of the Human Rights Effectiveness Research Center, HURIERC), and Dr. Lorena Sales, from the University of Castilla-La Mancha .
VVAA, La responsabilidad de las multinacionales por violaciones de derechos humanos, Francisco J. Zamora, Jesús García Cívico, Lorena Sales (eds.). Cuadernos de la Cátedra de Democracia y Derechos Humanos, nº 9, Universidad de Alcalá-Defensor del Pueblo, 2013, 245 pp. ISBN: 978-84-15834-25-0.