Human Rights and Transnational Corporations: A Nexus with Sustainable Development in Cameroon

Publication Information

Journal Title: Commonwealth Law Review Journal
Author(s): Leslie Ewule Lifafe
Published On: 30/01/2023
Volume: 9
First Page: 18
Last Page: 49
ISSN: 2581-3382
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher


Cite this Article

Leslie Ewule Lifafe, Human Rights and Transnational Corporations: A Nexus with Sustainable Development in Cameroon, Volume 9, Commonwealth Law Review Journal, 18-49, Published on 30/01/2023, Available at


Globalization has united the world and enhanced the interaction between states, defined all economic, political, social and cultural differences. Today the corporate form is an omnipresent part of modern commercial life and is significant in the economic lives of states. The multinational corporation (or international or transnational corporation) is a business organization whose activities are located in more than two countries and is the organizational form that defines foreign direct investment. This form consists of a country location where the firm is incorporated and of the establishment of branches or subsidiaries in foreign countries. Multinational companies can, obviously, vary in the extent of their multinational activities in terms of the number of countries in which they operate. A large multinational corporation can operate in 100 countries, with hundreds of thousands of employees located outside its home country. When these companies expand, they mostly go for business purposes and forget the notion of protecting human rights which are fundamental for the growth and protection of the population especially in third world countries like Cameroon. It is left on home governments to ensure that these TNCs respect human rights through corporate social responsibility in the process of making profits which can be considered as the main goal of such corporations. There are three main categories of human rights provided in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights which these TNCs and other stakeholders must uphold or guarantee while carrying out their activities namely; first, second and third generation rights. This classification follows the historical development of human rights.  The first generation consists of civil and political rights, the second generation rights consist of economic, social and cultural rights, and third category of human rights is closely associated to the rise of third world nationalism also known as solidarity rights. However, developing states like Cameroon find it difficult to regulate these corporations due to corruption, and the fear of political interference from TNCs since most of them are bigger in influence and finance than Cameroon. The respect of Human rights by TNCs will help increase productivity, hard-work and sustainable development because the respect of these rights encourages people to work in comfortable situations, take care of their families with proper pay, send kids to school, and gain access to modern facilities provided by these TNCs like schools, hospitals and good roads. It is however suggested that foreign developed countries and International organizations, should take charge of sanctioning TNCs which violate human rights in developing countries like Cameroon because they are in a better position to do so due to their economic and political power.

Keywords: Globalization, Transnational- Corporations, Human Rights, Sustainable Development.

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