Business & Human Rights in Cambodia : Compendium

The subject covered in this Compendium has developed very fast in the last 20 years. The idea that businesses have social responsibilities is not new; it has been discussed in universities since the 1960s under the name ‘business ethics’. The notion of corporate social responsibilities (CSR) however became prominent in the 1990s as a response to criticism that economic globalization is not fair in how it spreads benefits and risks. Therefore ideas of CSR, corporate accountability, corporate citizenship, responsible business conduct and corporate sustainability,have attracted wide support, initially from civil society groups and then from some leading businesses and industry associations as well as governments and international organizations.

‘Business and human rights’ (BHR) is a smaller, specialized part of the broader CSR idea: it is focused on negative impacts from business activities without denying positive impacts, it is based on the authoritative international standards developed by states in human rights treaties, and often emphasizes the importance of legal accountability of businesses and states. Since it emerged in the early 1990s, BHR has emphasized the core idea that human rights are minimum entitlements for individuals and communities grounded in human dignity as well as principles necessary to create societies that are more just. Thus human rights grounded in international law have produced the necessary and globally relevant discourse of ethics and justice to challenge and guide business conduct. As this compendium shows, human rights are relevant to all industries, in all countries. They apply to the workplace (e.g.working hours, health and safety) and surrounding communities (e.g. right to land, right to security), and are meant to protect men, women and all groups in society at higher risk of harm (e.g. children, people with disabilities).

The compendium is an aid for lecturers to prepare classes and seminars on business and human rights in Cambodia. Teachers from several academic disciplines – law, management, political science, social science, and media – will find carefully selected materials and numerous aspects on which to build a rewarding classroom experience. The compendium has three parts. Part I covers the policy frameworks for ‘human rights and business’. Part II is a deep dive into the systems companies set up to ensure responsible business conduct. Part III further contextualizes what the corporate responsibility entails regarding specific human rights.

You can download the compendium below :




If you want to know further about the compendium you can contact our personnels at RWI Cambodia office : Mostafa Sen and Ali Al-Nasani