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Putting human rights into regional growth agendas: Where we stand and where we ought to go

Elisa Giuliani

No 2042, Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) from Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography

Abstract: This article discusses the need for more systematic consideration of business-related human rights infringements in regional economic growth policies. It discusses why human rights have been neglected in accounts of regional economic growth and proposes a three-step policy agenda to address this gap. The first step envisages the institution of regional contact points mandated to deal with business-related human rights infringements via non-judicial grievance mechanisms. The second step proposes that regions should seek to build new regional identities as ‘safe harbours’ for investors, by working towards the avoidance of harm in their territories and linking attraction and development policies (subsidies, competitive bidding schemes and other industrial policy tools) to companies’ human rights track records in order to avoid attracting and supporting ‘bad’ firms. The third step refers to the establishment of regional negotiating fora to discuss remedies for those victims of harmful conduct. In order to counter potential claims of companies’ financial incapacity to remedy human rights harms, it is suggested that local communities and their representatives openly discuss the distributive policies of the relevant companies, related to shareholder dividends, executive compensation and tax planning.

Keywords: Business-related human rights infringements; regional economic growth; economic inequality. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-09, Revised 2020-09
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