"UN Treaty Process on Biz and Human Rights-Initial Observations by the Int Business Community on a Way Forward"

Publish Date: 
Thursday, May 21, 2015

Draft observations from IOE, BIAC, ICC and WBCD (May 1)

Argues that treaty process must not undermine the "extensive progress" made with respect to the UNGP over the past 4 years: EU Commission uses the UNGPs; national action plans have been launched; UNGPs are included in OECD guidelines; company and industry level policy commitments, operational guidance, governance mechanisms, human rights due diligence, and training programs now exist

Argues that treaty process should cover all companies not just TNCs: UNGPs cover all; most companies are domestic; TNCs attempts to comply with treaty will otherwise be frustrated by acts of domestic companies

Proposes that treaty process build on protect-respect-remedy framework: draft norms failed in part due to failure to distinguish between state and company responsibilities; states are increasingly ratifying human rights treaties while state repression of rights increases; treaty process could take 10 years; UNGPs address International Bill of Rights to which most states are already legally bound

Argues that treaty process should be inclusive to gain broad consensus and be successful: must include businesses and unions; must give UN Working Group a seat at IGWG table 

Proposes that current initiatives should focus on requiring states to develop national action plans to implement UNGPs: states could be required to report to UN monitoring body; IGWG could put pressure on states to pass plans; states could work on improving national judicial systems and their abilities to grant remedies; International Criminal Court demonstrates limits and constraints on international institutions; extraterritorial jurisdiction is costly, difficult and inefficient.

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