Human Rights, Poverty Reduction, Opportunities, and the Multinational Enterprise

Human Rights, Poverty Reduction, Opportunities, and the Multinational Enterprise

Scott A. Hipsher (Webster University, Thailand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3117-3.ch001


There is near universal agreement the human rights of all individuals should be respected. Yet in practice, there are differences of opinions over the universality and application of human rights in specific situations. Instead of advocating excessive scrutiny and regulation of human rights based on a single set of values, thus discouraging FDI in the least developed countries of the world; it is argued multinational enterprises can have the most positive impact on human rights by actively seeking out opportunities to operate in the areas of the world most affected by poverty. By concentrating on doing what the private sector does best, creating livelihood and purchasing options which individuals have the right to choose or reject, the private section can have a significant impact on creating wealth and reducing poverty.
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Emerging Markets

Much of the focus on the relationships between MNEs and human rights has been on the for-profit operations conducted within emerging or less developed economies. The terms emerging markets, developing, less developed, and least developed economies imply some type of economic inferiority when being compared to developed countries. In addition to being less economically developed, there is a tendency for many scholars to consider the moral and legal frameworks found in emerging economies to be inferior. Therefore it has often been advocated emerging markets adapt human rights practices more commonly found in Western liberal democracies or to allow international organizations to enforce and impose international standards as the governments and leadership of the emerging markets are perceived as uninterested, or unable to ensure international human rights standards (e.g., Bernaz, 2013; Fasterling & Demuijnck, 2013; Kobrin, 2009).

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