Sir Geoffrey Chandler, who passed away on 7 April 2011, will be recognised as one of the central figures in the business and human rights field. Through his long and distinguished career, notably as Founder–Chair of the Amnesty International UK Business Group from 1991 to 2001 and subsequently as Emeritus Chair of the Group, he was a passionate advocate for the importance of business to human rights. Many of the most significant developments in this area — the growing numbers of companies that have made policy commitments to action on human rights; the long-time success of the Amnesty International UK Business Group and its counterparts throughout Amnesty International; the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre — would not have happened without Geoffrey’s pioneering work and his constant support and encouragement. Perhaps Geoffrey’s greatest legacy is the number and quality of the people who are now active in the human rights field, many of whom trace their initial involvement to some interaction with Geoffrey.
As a man who always had the last word, it is fitting to remember him in his own words. Some eight years ago he wrote a chapter chronicling the evolution of the business and human rights debate: setting out his views on the role and responsibility of business in society and the centrality of concepts such as integrity, accountability and transparency to business practice. The chapter remains as relevant today as it was then.
In acknowledgement of Geoffrey’s contribution and in memory of his pioneering work, Greenleaf has generously made this chapter available for download (252K pdf).
Senior Research Fellow at the University of Leeds