UN: Business and Human Rights Treaty must ensure access to justice for all victims of human rights violations and abuses

The ICJ delivered today before the UN Human Rights Council a statement on the negotiations of a treaty on business and human rights.

The statement reads as follows:

“Mr President,

The ICJ welcomes the report (A/HRC/49/65) of the Intergovernmental Working Group to elaborate a treaty on business and human rights. The growing participation of States and stakeholders in the negotiations attest to substantial progress in this crucial initiative for the protection of human rights in the economic sphere.

The ICJ reiterates that an effective treaty should substantially address the most pressing issues of concern regarding prevention, accountability for abuses by businesses and justice and reparations for the victims of abuse. The current revised draft treaty advances this vision but needs further refinement. For instance, the draft needs to address more clearly and robustly the obstacles that victims face in accessing justice, including at the transnational level.

The ICJ rejects attempts by a few States to claw back on the progress and achieved and their suggestions to adopt an approach that would not substantially address the main problems of justice and reparations. This would be ineffective and incompatible with the object and purpose of Working Group’s mandate.

The ICJ calls for the implementation of the IGWG recommendations. The convening of a group of Friends of the Chair should be a vehicle to enhance and not to reduce meaningful consultation and participation by civil society, including workers, indigenous people, women and children.

I thank you.”


Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a)icj.org, t: +41797499949

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