Global Policy Forum

UN Working Group on a treaty on business and human rights opened


UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The first session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on an international legally binding instrument on business and human rights (IGWG) is taking place this week, 6-10 July, in Geneva. Global Policy Forum, Brot für die Welt, CIDSE, SOMO, Friends of the Earth Europe, IBFAN and IBFAN-GIFA have jointly submitted a contribution to the IGWG, which makes propositions for the legal building blocks of the Treaty on business and human rights regarding the scope, the state duty to protect and direct obligations for corporations.

July 07, 2015 | GPF et al.

Contributions to the legal building blocks of the Treaty regarding the scope, the state duty to protect and direct obligations for corporations

The open-ended intergovernmental working group (IGWG), established under the Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution 26/9, is mandated “to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises”. The first two sessions of the IGWG “shall be dedicated to conducting constructive deliberations on the content, scope, nature and form of the future international instrument”. The IGWG will have its first session during 6-10 July 2015 in Geneva.

In order to inform the IGWG’s work, the undersigned civil society organisations (CSOs), members of the Treaty Alliance, commissioned legal research to legal advisory bureau Global Rights Compliance, Dr Surya Deva and Professor Olivier de Schutter. These are all legal experts who have been engaged in the international debate on business and human rights.

Building on the papers of these legal experts, we have developed a submission with regard to the following elements of the Treaty Proposal:

1. Scope of the treaty

a) What rights should be covered by the treaty?

b) To which companies should it apply?

2. State duty to protect

a) Human Right Due Diligence

b) Access to Justice

3. Direct obligations for corporations

Download the full contribution to the IGWG here.

Other contributions to the IGWG can be seen here.

More than 380 civil society organizations and 600 individuals have already signed a call by the Treaty Alliance to enhance the international legal framework to protect human rights from corporate abuse. See and sign the Joint Statement of the Treaty Alliance here.

The first session of the IGWG will be web cast live at UN Web TV.

Follow also the News of the Treaty Alliance and the Blog of the RFDH on the negotiations.


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