Investing in Fear: Corporate Responsibility for Women’s Human Rights Abuses in Conflict Areas

Author(s): Wafaa Saadeh
Final project
Year of publication:
Gender and Human Rights
Number of pages:


In 2008, the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights presented the UN Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework, regarding state and corporate responsibility for protecting human rights. This framework was adopted by the Human Rights Council on June 16, 2011 in Resolution 17/4 that endorses the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for implementation. Since the adoption of the guiding principles, various scholars have examined the issue of corporate social responsibility, either from a business perspective or from a human rights (legal) lens. International law and practice have also addressed the issue of women’s vulnerability in conflict areas (UNHCHR, 2014). However, there has been a little consideration given to the disproportionate effects of human rights violations on women and corporate responsibility initiatives aimed at addressing these from a legal or ethical perspective. The proposed research intends to tackle the issue of whether corporations can be held responsible for human rights violations against women that are linked to the activities of transnational corporations’ in conflict areas with weak governments, authoritarian regimes, or that lack the rule of law. The aim of the study is to contribute to strengthening the social, ethical, and legal responsibility of corporations so they may not benefit, directly or indirectly, from human rights abuses.