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Human Rights and the Multinational Corporation

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Business and human rights; Corporate respect for human rights; Human rights responsibilities of large corporations


A multinational corporation (MNC) is defined simply as a company that owns property or operates in at least two countries. Today, such corporations are common and take many forms (Muchlinski 2007). Smaller MNCs may operate in only two countries and engage primarily in cross-border trade. Others may operate across a broader regional area. Increasingly MNCs do not merely own facilities or otherwise control production in multiple locations but operate subsidiary companies abroad. This may be for the purposes of selling in new markets, such as the parent company Starbucks coffee owning a subsidiary in China with the same branding and products. Subsidiaries also allow companies to enter new sectors, with Starbucks having owned subsidiaries producing bottled water, a record label, and a bakery chain. Subsidiaries can serve a third purpose of separating...

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Correspondence to David Birchall .

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Birchall, D. (2022). Human Rights and the Multinational Corporation. In: Poff, D.C., Michalos, A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-23514-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-23514-1

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