This thesis focuses on States as economic actors. If the past decade has seen an increased focus in literature on the adverse impacts that privately-owned transnational corporations can have on human rights, in the context of their operations and activities, another type of actor seems to have been entirely missed from this narrative: that of the transnational entity that is State-owned. Consequently, this thesis seeks to understand how the State ownership of companies is regulated in international law and what are the limitations and opportunities inherent in each system of regulation, as far as human rights are concerned. This thesis argues that, by virtue of the connection with the State that ultimately owns them, State-owned entities, are a sui generis type of “participant” in international law. This ultimately means that States may have more onerous obligations in the context of the “protect, respect, fulfill” framework on behalf of those entities. This thesis analyses the various “hard law” and “soft law” regulatory regimes that currently regulate State ownership and concludes that, while there are serious limitations in most of the “hard law” regulatory regimes currently in existence, there are also opportunities emerging, mainly from “soft law” regimes. Ultimately those “soft law” regimes could, in theory, influence State practice – and it will be shown that in some cases this has already been the case – which could lead to the formation of new customary norms. This thesis also seeks to find an adequate theoretical basis upon which a regime of enhanced legal obligations, from a human rights perspective, could be built for States as owners.