Beyond the Alien Tort Claims Act: Alternative Approaches to Attributing Liability to Corporations for Extraterritorial Abuses

Choudhury, Barnali | January 1, 2005

At one time, the only social responsibility of a business was to increase its profits. During this period, businesses prized dictatorships for their ability to provide stable environments and consumers were not concerned with either where or by whom the shoes they wore were made. However, the increase in globalization changed perceptions. Multinational corporations (“MNCs”) began to benefit immensely from globalization and those outside of the MNC environment started to realize that an MNC’s profit gains brought about a corresponding responsibility to manage any adverse effects of producing those gains . Suddenly, a company’s success was measured by factors other than its bottom-line. In addition, the reputation of a company thought to be involved in some form of human rights abuse could suffer irreparable damage and consumers began to demand detailed information on corporate activities.