ICJ commentary on the 2018 “zero draft” of treaty on business and human rights

In July 2018, it was published the “zero draft” of a proposed first universal treaty addressing business and human rights. The document was authored by Ecuador’s Ambassador in Geneva acting as chair of the Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) in charge of drafting the instrument.

The draft is strongly focused on issues of legal accountability of business enterprises and access to justice and remedy for those who allege harm by a business enterprise. The draft was presented and discussed in “first reading” by States and observers during the fourth session of the IGWG in October 2018.

In this document, the ICJ presents its comments to the zero draft. This commentary is not intended as a comprehensive assessment of the draft, but it rather addresses select provisions of priority concern to the ICJ on first reading. It contains recommendations on the way to strengthen them in accordance with human rights and rule of law principles.

Universal-Comments Draft Treaty BHR-Advocacy-2019-ENG (full text, in PDF)