ICJ submission on holding corporations accountable for their human rights violations

In this submission, the ICJ explores key aspects of the “Protect, Respect, Remedy” framework established by the Special Representative to the Secretary General John Ruggie (photo).

In its resolution 8/7 of June 2008, the Human Rights Council requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize, within the framework of the Council, a two-day consultation “in order to discuss ways and means to operationalize the framework, and to submit a report on the meeting to the Council”.

The consultation was conceived of as a means to respond to calls from civil society for the Council to ensure wide and non-selective participation by grass-root organizations and victims groups in the debates around the issue of corporate human rights responsibilities.

Guided by United Nations instruments, the ICJ attaches great importance to the development of an approach that is centred on the individual, including victims or potential victims of abuse, their rights and needs.

The ICJ submission discusses the need for a normative approach to holding corporations accountable for their human rights violations, and it applies the findings of the ICJ Expert Panel Report on Corporate Complicity to elaborate on corporations’ legal responsibility to conduct due diligence into their suppliers, buyers, partners and subsidiaries.

The submission also highlights the obstacles victims face to achieving redress through national judiciaries, including corruption, a lack of judicial independence, capacity, and enforcement, as well as significant procedural hurdles. Finally, the submission discusses the weaknesses of current international mechanisms and the need for exploration into alternatives.

ICJ Submission for the Consultation on Business and Human Rights-Position Papers-2009 (full text PDF)

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