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Human Rights considerations in the Swedish AP-funds investments - A case study in the Business and Human Rights field

Persson, Caroline LU (2012) JURM02 20122
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Allmänna pensionsfonderna, oftast omnämnda som AP-fonderna, är de största förvaltarna id et allmänna inkomstpensionsystemet. Fonderna har i uppdrag att investera pensionssystemets buffertkapital och eftersträva en hög långsiktig avkastning för att bidra till en hög pension för framtida generationer. För att uppfylla sitt uppdrag investerar fonderna i tusentals företag runt om i världen. Under de senast åren har AP-fonderna mottagit mycket kritik för sina investeringar i företag som kränker mänskliga rättigheter genom sin verksamhet.

Det faktum att företag och andra privata aktörer kan påverka mänskliga rättigheter negativt genom sin verksamhet har varit känt sedan länge. Det var dock inte förrän under mitten av 90-talet som man avvek... (More)
Allmänna pensionsfonderna, oftast omnämnda som AP-fonderna, är de största förvaltarna id et allmänna inkomstpensionsystemet. Fonderna har i uppdrag att investera pensionssystemets buffertkapital och eftersträva en hög långsiktig avkastning för att bidra till en hög pension för framtida generationer. För att uppfylla sitt uppdrag investerar fonderna i tusentals företag runt om i världen. Under de senast åren har AP-fonderna mottagit mycket kritik för sina investeringar i företag som kränker mänskliga rättigheter genom sin verksamhet.

Det faktum att företag och andra privata aktörer kan påverka mänskliga rättigheter negativt genom sin verksamhet har varit känt sedan länge. Det var dock inte förrän under mitten av 90-talet som man avvek från tidigare rådande konsensus som sa att stater ensamma bar ansvaret för att respektera och skydda mänskliga rättigheter. Sedan dess har utvecklingen av området “business and human rights” gått framåt och privata aktörers ansvar för att respektera mänskliga rättigheter i sin verksamhet är nu allmänt erkänt, även om omfattningen av ett sådant ansvar fortfarande debatteras. År 2011 tog utvecklingen ytterligare ett steg framåt när Human Rights Council enhälligt skrev under Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN Guiding Principles). Genom beslutet att skriva under UN Guiding Principles antog FNs medlemsländer för första gången en gemensam ståndpunkt för att motverka de negativa inverkan på mänskliga rättigheter som kopplats samman med företag och deras verksamhet.

Uppsatsen utreder Sveriges och AP-fondernas ansvar för mänskliga rättigheter i situationer då kränkningar av mänskliga rättigheter kopplas samman med AP-fonderna genom deras investeringar. Med utgångspunkt i de internationella principer för business and human rights som framgår av UN Guiding Principles analyseras Sveriges och AP-fondernas sätt att hantera fondernas påverkan på mänskliga rättigheter. (Less)
Abstract
The Swedish Public Pension Funds, also known as the AP-funds, are the biggest trustees of Swedish pension payments. Their mission is to invest the buffer capital of the pension system and ensure growth that will provide pension disbursements for generations to come. To fulfil this mission investments are made in thousands of companies all over the world. During the last years the AP-funds have been heavily criticised for investing in companies that violate human rights through their operations.

The fact that business operations may have an adverse impact on the enjoyment of human rights has long been known. However it was not until the mid-1990s that the precondition that all responsibility for respecting and protecting human rights... (More)
The Swedish Public Pension Funds, also known as the AP-funds, are the biggest trustees of Swedish pension payments. Their mission is to invest the buffer capital of the pension system and ensure growth that will provide pension disbursements for generations to come. To fulfil this mission investments are made in thousands of companies all over the world. During the last years the AP-funds have been heavily criticised for investing in companies that violate human rights through their operations.

The fact that business operations may have an adverse impact on the enjoyment of human rights has long been known. However it was not until the mid-1990s that the precondition that all responsibility for respecting and protecting human rights should be assigned to the State was abandoned. Since then the field of business and human rights has grown in importance and the responsibility for business actors to respect human rights throughout their operations is now commonly acknowledged, even though the extent of the responsibility is still being debated. In 2011 the development of business and human rights took a new step when the Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN Guiding Principles) that consists of 31 principles addressing the State duty to protect human rights and the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. The endorsement of the instrument is the first time than the UN member states adopt a common position for addressing the adverse human rights impact linked to business operations.

This thesis investigates the responsibility of Sweden and the AP-funds on account of the human rights infringements that have been associated with the AP-funds. The conduct of the two actors and their compliance with the provisions of the UN Guiding Principles is analysed and evaluated in a case study. The first part of the case study analyses the actions of Sweden and the fulfilment of the State duty to protect in the case of the AP-funds, whereas the second part addresses the AP-funds’ compliance with the responsibility to respect human rights. (Less)
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author
Persson, Caroline LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20122
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
International Public Law
language
English
id
3359551
date added to LUP
2013-01-28 13:05:10
date last changed
2013-01-28 13:05:10
@misc{3359551,
  abstract     = {The Swedish Public Pension Funds, also known as the AP-funds, are the biggest trustees of Swedish pension payments. Their mission is to invest the buffer capital of the pension system and ensure growth that will provide pension disbursements for generations to come. To fulfil this mission investments are made in thousands of companies all over the world. During the last years the AP-funds have been heavily criticised for investing in companies that violate human rights through their operations. 

The fact that business operations may have an adverse impact on the enjoyment of human rights has long been known. However it was not until the mid-1990s that the precondition that all responsibility for respecting and protecting human rights should be assigned to the State was abandoned. Since then the field of business and human rights has grown in importance and the responsibility for business actors to respect human rights throughout their operations is now commonly acknowledged, even though the extent of the responsibility is still being debated. In 2011 the development of business and human rights took a new step when the Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN Guiding Principles) that consists of 31 principles addressing the State duty to protect human rights and the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. The endorsement of the instrument is the first time than the UN member states adopt a common position for addressing the adverse human rights impact linked to business operations. 

This thesis investigates the responsibility of Sweden and the AP-funds on account of the human rights infringements that have been associated with the AP-funds. The conduct of the two actors and their compliance with the provisions of the UN Guiding Principles is analysed and evaluated in a case study. The first part of the case study analyses the actions of Sweden and the fulfilment of the State duty to protect in the case of the AP-funds, whereas the second part addresses the AP-funds’ compliance with the responsibility to respect human rights.},
  author       = {Persson, Caroline},
  keyword      = {International Public Law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Human Rights considerations in the Swedish AP-funds investments - A case study in the Business and Human Rights field},
  year         = {2012},
}