The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights in China and Globally

This is a report from a project entitled “The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights in China and Globally”, which aimed to support participants to enter into meaningful peer-to-peer dialogue, and to share policies and practices related to business impacts on human rights. The project took place over 9-months, starting in June 2013 and ending in February 2014.


The project was conceived in response to Chinese business leaders expressing an interest in approaches to address the social impacts of business in ways consistent with international standards and expectations, including on human rights. It engaged business leaders from 10 corporations – 4 Chinese state-owned enterprises and 6 multi-national corporations headquartered in diverse geographies outside of China. The project was established jointly by Peking University International Law Institute, the Beijing Rong Zhi Corporate Responsibility Institute, Tracktwo and the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights; and generously funded by BASF, the GE Foundation and Shell.

China Report CoverThe project included a learning seminar, bilateral meetings between the project team and participating companies, and the production of this final report. To support learning, each company presented and submitted small case studies or “learning cases”. The discussions reflected a diversity of human rights impacts, in a diversity of geographies and across industries. This variety reinforces that companies of all sectors and geographies must manage their actual and potential human rights impacts, and must be proactive in doing so.

The partners are grateful to the companies that have participated in this project: BASF; China Minmetals; China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO); CPI Yunnan International Power Investment Company; Flextronics; General Electric; HP; Shell; Sinosteel; and The Coca-Cola Company. The companies participating have demonstrated a welcome level of openness within safe-space discussions and in the inclusion of their learning cases in this publication.

Case Studies