Published: 7 Jul 2015 | By Ekaterina Aristova

Business and human rights in Russia


Corporations are responsible for many of the most serious violations of international human rights law. Despite this, there remain significant challenges in accommodating corporate accountability for human rights abuses within existing legal regimes, and implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Corporate legal accountability for human rights, the broader notion of corporate social responsibility, and the practical impact of business on the promotion of human rights, remain key issues for the Russian Federation. On the one hand, Russia is a relatively new market economy that is still emerging from its Soviet past. On the other hand, it has implemented legal reforms which favour a capitalist-style economy (for example, modernising its civil and commercial laws in order to improve the business environment, and working to establish an International Finance Centre in Moscow). What remains to be seen is whether these reforms will be conducted only with a view to maximising profit, or whether they will also take into account community interests and the promotion of human rights.

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