24 January 2013

CALL FOR PAPERS: Corporations, Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in Africa

International Journal of Law and ManagementCall for Papers  
Special Issue of the Journal of Law and Management
Corporations, Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in Africa:
Between Neglect and Inadequate Policy Direction

The International Bill of Human Rights; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on Economic and Social Rights  in addition to many other international, regional and national human rights instruments provides for civil, economic, social and group rights. The various instruments assert the right to life, right to dignity and fair treatment, as well as freedom of association, and freedom from slavery and forced labour, among others. The flagrant violations of these rights have gone on in Africa (and elsewhere) to date.  Apart from national governments, there has been recognition that corporations are implicated in substantive violations of these rights.

Following on the expanding reach of corporations, the global debate on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has intensified in recent times. There is a current focus on how the colossal financial capabilities and resources of corporations affect human rights particularly in the developing countries. The international system has witnessed a sustained engagement with corporations which is fast developing into a movement on business and human rights.  A significant aspect of this was the appointment of a UN Special Representative for Human Rights and Business, and the development of a framework that clarifies the roles of governments as well as companies in respect of business and human rights. The framework focuses on how to protect and realise human rights in the face of corporate activities that may negatively impact on rights. Increasingly too, Non-Governmental Organisations are assuming an important role in giving visibility to the multifaceted dimensions of the impact of corporate activities around the globe and in the ‘third world’ especially. In short, there is a slow but definitive move away from the dominant culture of ‘business as usual’ towards a rights-sensitive culture of sustainable corporations.

However, in the midst of these important developments, it appears that the African continent is forgotten and largely marginalised. African concerns and viewpoints are still under-represented and less understood. Yet, Africa remains one of the main victims of the consequences of (gross) violations of human rights part of which are associated with the awesome powers of the modern corporation. The role of multinational corporations prospecting in Africa and their (c) overt violations of human rights remain contentious. Although academics have started to address these issues, current attention is inadequate and much more is needed to be known about these issues. The contributions by academics regarding these issues in the African context do not match the scale of the issues that need to be addressed. Several underlying issues have not been addressed and there is an urgent need for a critical mass of research efforts to be geared toward human rights and CSR in this important context. Consequently, the special issue of this journal is focusing on human rights and CSR in Africa.  There is a need to address business and human rights in Africa in view of the significant impact on national economies, lives, ecosystems and the environment on the continent with global implications.

This call is for papers that adopt variety of approaches (empirical, qualitative, quantitative, socio-legal, etc) in addressing this theme. Such papers could highlight practitioners’ perspectives embedded in practical realities of the issues and therefore may not adopt, in full, the conventional academic style. They would however be assessed on their ability to provide crucial insights on the issue that could lead to rigorous analysis and understanding of some of the key concerns on the theme. The call is also for robust but practical oriented academic research adopting either qualitative or quantitative research approaches.  The list of topics/ theme below is suggestive of likely topics/themes but is not in any way exhaustive: 

·         CSR in Africa: Definitions and Concepts
·         The Role of Multinational Corporation in Enhancing Human Rights in Africa.
·         Extractive Industries, Corruption and Human rights
·         Child Labour, CSR and Government Regulations
·         CSR, Labour Law Reforms and Human Rights in Africa.
·         CSR, Information Rights and Governance
·         Current CSR Practices Amongst Listed Companies in Africa
·         Cultural Dimensions on CSR and Human Rights in Africa.
·         Political Dimensions of CSR
·         The NGOs and CSR in Deprived Societies
·         Multinationals and CSR
·         Stakeholders’ Engagement and CSR and Human Rights


Manuscripts should be submitted via the IJLMA online submission system at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijlma - just log in or create an account, and then select the special issue rather than the regular issue when you submit. Submissions must be received by 30 April 2013.

All submissions should be prepared in line with the IJLMA house style available at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=ijlma&PHPSESSID=hgos9rpdn89peljqmhsn799te6

Please feel free to contact either of the Co-Editors of the special issue with any queries.

Dr Hakeem Yusuf
Dr Ismail Adelopo

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