Scope of the Legally Binding Instrument to Address Human Rights Violations Related to Business Activities

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, June 30, 2015

ESCR-Net & FIDH has published a Working Draft of the first in a series of 'Building Blocks' that contribute to the negotiations on the content of the forthcoming binding international instrument to address corporate-related human rights abuses. This first Building Block covers the issue of what the Scope of the instrument might ideally cover, providing detail on various options, with recommendations included for the most preferable option in light of the realities of people and commuties affected by corporate-related human rights abuses.

The lead author for this Building Block, from the Expert Legal Group of the ESCR-Net and FIDH Treaty Initiative Project, is Professor Surya Deva, from the City University of Hong Kong. The Expert Legal Group is a regionally and gender diverse collection of experts in international human rights law assembled for this project, to work with civil society to develop content proposals for the forthcoming instrument. As the lead author of the Expert Legal Group, Surya facilitated dialogues with civil society organisations, including those affected by corporate related human rights violations, to elicit input on their preferred approach to the scope of the treaty from among the range of options contained in the Building Block.

This document aims to contribute constructively to the international deliberations to develop an internationally legally binding instrument, as well as associated civil society debates. A final version of this document will be produced by December 2016.

Surya Deva is Associate Professor at the School of Law, City University of Hong Kong and a Member of the Expert Legal Group of the ESCR-Net/FIDH Joint Treaty Initiative. Surya lead the development of this Working Paper in consultation with civil society and other members of the Expert Legal Group. For comments, suggestions or questions, please email: and Dominic Renfrey:

Please download the Working Paper here.