Jennifer Zerk Consulting
Corporate social responsibility Who we are
How we fit in
What we do
How we work

business & human rights

Most companies now accept that they have at least a moral obligation to adhere to basic human rights norms in their day-to-day operations. Less clear, though, is where these obligations come from and what they mean in practice.

Human rights law is aimed primarily at states. However, individuals - and by extension companies - can also be held legally responsible for the most serious human rights violations such as war crimes, genocide, slavery and torture. And national governments are currently developing new ways to hold companies legally responsible for being "complicit" in human rights violations by states. This is often referred to as "corporate complicity".

But the law does not stop there. Outside the sphere of international criminal law, companies can still affect the enjoyment of human rights in a multitude of different ways. There is the "right to health", for example, and the "right to just and favourable conditions of work" and the "right to a decent environment" just to name a few. What is expected of companies in relation to these?

We help companies, NGOs and other organisations keep track of the developing obligations of companies in this field by monitoring and interpreting international civil case-law, criminal prosecutions, and developments at UN level. We offer specialised know-how to human rights "due diligence" activities, where detailed knowledge of legal background and context is key. And our tailored monitoring and reporting services are there to help make sure that corporate human rights policies and risk management strategies remain ahead of the game.



menu graphic



A brief overview of some projects we have undertaken in the recent past ...


Jennifer Zerk Consulting: +44 (0)1223 207305 -

human rights regulatory reform research legal writing training