The International Human Rights Laws Essay

1748 Words Apr 29th, 2015 7 Pages
Companies want to preserve their economic interest over a product the research and development of which is costly and time consuming. On the other hand, society has legitimate expectations from a company holding the patent on a medicine. This expectation is dire from the side of resource poor countries that have a population that cannot pay for medication for diseases that also exist in the resource rich countries as well as cannot incentivize research and development of medicines for diseases unique to its circumstance. The international human rights laws discussed above do not directly regulate the conduct of companies, as the subjects of such laws are states. However, companies have a mandatory human rights duty to the level such duties are incorporated in the laws of the countries they operate in. Apart from that the burgeoning soft law instruments in the area of human rights and businesses establish a ground for corporate human rights responsibility.
As any other corporation, pharmaceutical companies have a human rights responsibility enshrined under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The Guiding Principles provides for the responsibility of businesses despite their nature and size to respect human rights recognized under the international bill of rights, which consists of the UDHR, the ICESCR and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Guidelines 11, 12, and 14). Accordingly companies should refrain from causing or…

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