MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Around the world, corporations sometimes put profit before people. Until now, victims’ stories have been omitted from scholarship about business and human rights.
A new book, “When Business Harms Human Rights” (Anthem Press, 2020), solves that problem. Co-edited by Jena Martin, a professor at the West Virginia University College of Law, it is a collection of stories from around the world, including the United States, Brazil and Cameroon.
Martin hopes the book sheds light on some of the atrocities that can happen when businesses pursue profit without regard to their impact on communities or workers. It also provides some guidance to businesses that would like to be good corporate citizens and be profitable at the same time.
"Too often in the academic world we tend to look at phenomena and policy through divorced, seemingly objective lenses,” Martin said. “But we need to remember the why. For me, the why at the heart of what I do has been and will always be humanity.”
Martin’s co-editors for “When Business Harms Human Rights” are Tara van Ho, lecturer at the University of Essex School of Law, and Karen Bravo, dean of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
Martin has written extensively on issues in the field of business and human rights, including the intersection of securities regulation with human rights impacts. She has also presented her research at United Nations workshops.