IPI HomePublicationsPolicy PapersBusiness and International Crimes: Assessing the Liability of Business Entities for Grave Violations of International Law

 

print print  |  share share back back

Policy Papers - July 15, 2004

Business and International Crimes: Assessing the Liability of Business Entities for Grave Violations of International Law

International Peace Institute and FAFO

 

 

There is a climate of impunity surrounding economic activities that promote or sustain conflict and human rights abuse. Many private business entities in search of extractive resources and inexpensive labor operate in developing countries beset by violence, repression, or war, where effective governance and accountability are absent. The exploitation of and trade in natural resources and other so-called "conflict commodities"provide a major source of revenue for criminalized elites or rebel factions.


The two studies summarized here map the provisions of the relevant international and national laws, and summarize the jurisprudence developed by national and international case law. The objective of our approach has been to promote the systematic identification and strengthening of existing criminal law norms and practices as a mechanism to effectively deter and sanction illicit economic exploitation in repressive or war-torn countries.

To this end, Business and International Crimes is addressed to policymakers and practitioners in government and business, as well as affected communities and civil society organizations. Ultimately, the project represents a modest attempt to provide some clarity about the nature and extent of the legal foundations for the regulation of private sector activities in those countries. It is our hope that the study will prompt further legal research by jurists, consideration of legal action by the appropriate authorities or affected communities, and development of internal compliance procedures by companies operating in conflict zones.

The Global Observatory

Is a Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip Feasible?
The ceasefire proposed by UNSG Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry to put an end to the violence in Gaza may be the best offer on the table, although important lessons from the past need to be heeded.

Key Global Events to Watch in July
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

July 17, 2014
EU and UN Seek Ways to Improve Cooperation in Peacekeeping
The European Union is among the strongest supporters of UN peacekeeping missions around the globe, but the growing challenges faced by UN-led operations have raised the need for better EU-UN cooperation, both on the ground and at the planning level.

July 01, 2014
SRSG Johnson: South Sudan Crisis Changed UNMISS “Mindset”
Hilde Johnson, the outgoing Head of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), gave an overflow IPI audience a dramatic account of the challenging situation that has faced the United Nations in the country since the eruption of mass violence at the end of last year.

June 25, 2014
Mousavian: Iran and US Have Serious Chance for Rapprochement
From Iraq to Syria, from energy to counterterrorism, Iran and the United States share many common interests across the Middle East and ought to put aside their decades of hostility, said author and former Iranian diplomat Seyed Hossein Mousavian.

View More