In recent decades there has been increasing demand for human rights and environmental accountability on the part of corporations. This issue has traditionally been addressed via two diametrically opposed approaches – a voluntary approach based upon self-restraint and the other based on regulations. This framework has been updated by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises (SRSG) in the report: Protect, Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights, and in the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The latter outlines the three basic pillars upon which the principles of corporate responsibility are based: a) the state’s duty to protect human rights, b) corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and c) access to legal remedies in the event of violations.
The aim of the CORE research project is to study and clarify the foundations and implementation rules of corporate responsibility in terms of human rights, environmental responsibility and the due diligence process. The research aims to reconstruct the theoretical-legal framework and analyse applicable standards and the existing institutional framework (UN, EU, the National Action Plans on business and human rights, etc.). The research merges legal analysis, corporate governance and business management studies and combines traditional research methodologies (literature review, legislative and case law data collection) with bottom-up methodologies, based upon three methodological pillars: a) assessment and evaluation, b) production of case studies, and c) knowledge transfer.