The accelerating globalization process poses new challenges and opportunities for the realization of human rights worldwide. This process is largely driven by transnational corporations with resources and economic power, which by far outstrip those of many states. The petroleum industry is the forefront among these corporations. Some of them came under intense scrutiny during the last decade, such as Shell and its relationship to Nigeria. Several of the petroleum corporations are now recognizing their responsibility and seeking to develop new policies. This study is the first comprehensive description and analysis of the role and policies of transnational corporations with regard to human rights. Unique in their field, the pioneering studies in this book are written by leading experts and practitioners in the field. They explore the nature of the challenge major petroleum corporations are facing, the demands set by the international community, and the soulsearching responses within the corporations. The studies in this book are likely to play a major role in the emerging debate on how the transnational corporations can meet their social responsibility for human rights in the countries of operation and how they can be held accountable to the international community.
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