Article by Erika George, Jena Martin, & Tara Van Ho

Introduction: Business and Human Rights (BHR) provides a framework to understand and remedy internationally recognized human rights violations that businesses cause. One might assume that BHR is uniquely aligned with an antiracist approach. After all, the first international human rights treaty adopted after the Second World War was the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), and Articles 2 of both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), promise the realization of rights on a non-discriminatory basis. One might argue that since human rights are supposed to be antiracist, fields advancing human rights should be too.5 This article questions these assumptions. By showcasing a dialogue between three BHR scholars, this article examines BHR’s approach to racism and explores the challenges and opportunities within BHR to ensure an antiracist praxis. Unfortunately, this is a unique and original contribution to the scholarship, as scholars have yet to scrutinize how BHR might confront or reinforce racism.

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