In a paper published today, the ICJ recommends a series of substantive elements that it considers as key to an effective treaty on business and human rights.
The ICJ is publishing this paper as the second session of the open ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIWG) will be held next week (24-28 October).
On 26 June 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted Resolution 26/9 establishing an “open ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights” (OEIWG) with the mandate 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 session of the OEIWG took place from 6 to 10 July 2015.
The ICJ supports the objective of establishing an international legally binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises, with a focus on business accountability and access to effective remedies for human rights abuses by business enterprises.
There is a substantial international protection gap to be filled in this respect, on which the ICJ has previously commented extensively.
It is with a view to closing this gap and ensuring that international human rights law can optimally fulfil its protective function that the ICJ is engaging in the present treaty process.
The key elements in the ICJ paper are a contribution to the ongoing discussions about the future instrument, without being exhaustive as to such elements.
The ICJ has already published a paper focused on issues of scope of businesses to be addressed in the treaty, in particular the meaning or “transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises” a question which remains unresolved and is contentious in the OEIWG discussions.
The present paper will focus on the possible content of the prospective treaty.
universal-oewg-session-2-icj-submission-advocacy-analysis-brief-2016-eng (full text in PDF)
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