The Preamble to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UNDHR) calls on every organ of society to teach and educate for the promotion of the rights it contains. However, few if any business schools have any systematic or critical human rights content in their accounting and business curricula. This oversight is increasingly problematic as concern grows over the burgeoning size and power of multinational corporations in relation to nation states, cases where large multinational corporations have been complicit in human rights violations, and increasing corporate roles in the provision of state services. This shift of human rights duties, responsibilities and accountability from nation states to corporations has resulted in a number of new United Nations initiatives, voluntary standards and international protocols to bring the UNDHR to bear on business activity. This paper explores how the universal human rights apparatus and discourse is impacting corporations' responsibilities for the protection and promotion of human rights and sustainable development. The emerging business and human rights discourse presents a number of challenges to the dominant ideology taught in business schools and is likely to be resisted. This paper presents a moral and pragmatic case for incorporating human rights into business and accounting education at tertiary and professional levels. It also outlines the principles that should underpin attempts to effectively integrate human rights into the accounting and business curricula as well as exploring the articulation between the human rights and sustainability discourses.
|Publication status||Published - 2013|