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Corporate Accountability in the United States Universal Periodic Review

ESCR-Net along with a number of other US-based human rights organizations are involved in the UN Human Rights Council's first Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the U.S.A. to take place on November 5, 2010. This process offers organizations an important opportunity to both measure how the U.S. is meeting its human rights obligations and to continue pressuring the government to live up to those obligations at home and abroad.

As part of our campaign to hold companies accountable to human rights, the Center for Constitutional Rights, EarthRights International, the Western Shoshone Defense Project and ESCR-Net's Corporate Accountability Working Group presented a submission on the U.S. UPR process in April, 2010 analyzing the U.S. government's record on business and human rights. The submission examines the degree to which the U.S. is upholding its duties to respect, protect and remedy human rights abuses involving business actors acting abroad and on or near indigenous lands in the United States. The submission acknowledges that while the U.S. has taken some noteworthy legislative, adjudicative, administrative and policy measures to address business-related abuses, its overall approach has been at best piecemeal and incoherent. The submission then draws out a series of inter-related recommendations for the U.S. government, which if implemented would represent valuable steps towards preventing and protecting against business-related abuses worldwide. The full submission can be found here.


For more information on this submission, write to Niko Lusiani at For more information about other organizations involved in the US UPR review, visit the US Human Rights Network UPR page here.


UN Advocacy on Business and Human Rights

In its ongoing advocacy for corporate accountability, ESCR-Net's Corporate Accountability Working Group continues to engage with UN processes related to business and human rights, especially within the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) on Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie. During the first two weeks in June, the Human Rights Council played host to a debate on business and human rights. The SRSG presented his penultimate report, and States and civil society proceeded to air their views on the mandate's development before its likely end in 2011. ESCR-Net closely monitored the proceedings, and joined with Human Rights Watch in an Oral Statement addressing the SRSG's 2010 report. ESCR-Net's Corporate Accountability Working Group will continue to closely monitor and engage in the final stages of this business and human rights mandate, as well as advocate for meaningful follow-up mechanisms upon its end next year.


You can watch the full proceedings of the Human Rights Council session on business and human rights here, or you can watch just the joint ESCR-Net/HRW oral statement here. For more information, write to Niko Lusiani at


The Business and Human Right
s Documentation (B-HRD) Project


ESCR-Net and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at New York University School of Law have continued to make considerable technical and substantive progress in the Business and Human Rights Documentation (B-HRD) Project. B-HRD will provide grassroots groups, NGOs, policymakers, experts, advocates, academics, and the public at large an interactive web portal about the human rights impacts of business activities and much-needed advocacy tools to hold businesses accountable in a globalized world. We have designed the overall look and feel of the site, developed the needed information architecture and analyzed a large universe of first-hand, human rights documentation on business-related abuse. B-HRD will consist of three major sections-a Database compiling and analyzing existing human rights documentation, an In Focus section highlighting particular situations of abuse and a Working Papers section fostering scholarship on business and human rights. Having integrated such enhancements, we now expect to a Fall 2010 launch.


We are still soliciting human rights reports from organizations which carry out first-hand documentation of business-related human rights abuses. To view the key selection criteria and to find out where to send reports, click here.


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