We call States to participate actively in upcoming negotiations of the international treaty to ensure protection of human rights from the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises

This statement is also available in Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese, Chinese, Bahasa, Hindi, German and Italian

We welcome the two successful sessions (2015 and 2016) of the United Nations open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIGWG) on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights exploring the nature, scope, and elements that could be included in a “legally binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights”. The OEIGWG will hold its next session in October 23-27, 2017, to begin negotiating the content and scope of the new instrument.

Globally, corporations are engaged in operations that result in environmental pollution and degradation, land grabbing, use of slave labor, threats to access to medicines and public health services, disrespect of labor standards, and cases of violence against people and human rights defenders, among others. For these abuses, corporations must be held accountable. Currently, there are a series of regulatory gaps, some due to the fact that corporations operate internationally, while the laws regulating them have a national character. In this context of impunity, business corporations more easily capture international as well as national institutions. Trade and investment agreements signed by States guarantee corporations ample rights and privileges and profit making, but there is no corresponding international regulation by States to ensure that the operations of corporations are conducted without incurring human and environmental rights abuses. The introduction and regulation of corporations’ liabilities nationally and internationally is needed so that States finally start meeting their obligations to protect human rights and the environment against harmful activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

We believe that the rich debate that has taken place at the OEIGWG so far has shown the need for an international, legally binding instrument to (1) enhance the protection of affected individuals and communities against violations related to the operation of transnational corporations and other business enterprises, and (2) provide them with access to effective remedies, in particular through judicial mechanisms. The sessions included exchanges and debates between representatives of affected communities, experts, jurists, activists, and parliamentarians from different regions and sectors, with State representatives. The sessions have contributed to the identification of a common ground for further progress in the elaboration of the treaty based on the primary obligation of States to protect human rights, including extraterritorially.

The mobilization of movements and national and international civil society organizations has significantly grown. Their constant, constructive advocacy at national level and presence in the United Nations deliberations has been key to supporting the process and shown the importance of the prospective treaty for the struggles for social justice and human rights in the world.

The new legally binding instrument should be a step forward in the promotion and protection of human rights, building on previous efforts, and establishing a complementary framework to the existing international human rights instruments. A set of binding obligations and enforcement mechanisms is the next necessary and logical step in the process that started several decades ago. The treaty must stipulate the primacy of human rights law over corporate rights and privileges which are enshrined in the biased and unfair framework created in trade and investment agreements. It must also establish a strong international framework for corporate legal accountability to ensure access to justice for affected individuals and communities and thus put an end to business impunity. International cooperation among States must be strengthened to address these global regulatory challenges.

To be successful, the third session of the OEIGWG should encourage: (1) A substantive, cooperative, and constructive negotiation between States about concrete and detailed elements of the treaty concerning its content and scope, (2) A participatory approach to ensure diverse civil society perspectives, and (3) The establishment of a road map for the completion of the negotiations within a short period of time.

We underline our strong commitment to the process, urging all States to focus on the negotiation of the content of the treaty at this occasion. We call on the public to pay attention to this critical process and actively mobilize in support of it at the national, regional and international level. 


SIGNATORIES

 Individuals

  1. Sofyan Eyanks
  2. Elodie Lemaire
  3. Stephan Backes
  4. Sara Mieth
  5. Dr Joshua Curtis
  6. Daniel Fyfe
  7. Richard DELPLANQUE
  8. Jennifer Valcke
  9. Tsega Gebremeskel Mels
  10. Manuel Eggen
  11. Béatrice DAVIDJ
  12. Sylvia Obregon Quiroz
  13. Dr. Brigitte Hamm
  14. Plataforma Internacional contra la Impunidad
  15. Irene Pietropaoli
  16. Danilo Rueda
  17. Andrey Laletin
  18. Hector de Prado
  19. Hervé Bund
  20. Tchenna Fernandes Maso
  21. Liliane Spendeler
  22. Gea Meijers
  23. M. Alejandra Morena
  24. Jessica Behrendt
  25. Sahabat Alam Malaysia
  26. Christine Born
  27. Angela Zarro
  28. Matt Casteel
  29. Claudio Schuftan
  30. Daniel Gusenbauer
  31. Ernest Aigner
  32. Tamara Premrov
  33. Maximilian Mayerhofer
  34. Yeji Jeong
  35. Rebecka Mosquera Jalvemyr
  36. Maite Serrano Oñate
  37. Colin Brouard
  38. Greet Goverde
  39. Sara Sánchez Palacios
  40. Susan M Randolph
  41. Stefano Prato
  42. Maryline Bisilliat
  43. Guillaume Joseph
  44. RABETRANO Richard
  45. Tobias Artacker
  46. Nicoletta Dentico
  47. Marta Benavides
  48. Jean-Cyril Dagorn
  49. Raymond Tetteh Commey
  50. Yvan Maillard
  51. Lovise Ribe
  52. Yifang Tang
  53. Françoise MICHALON
  54. FERRAND GUY
  55. Els van Dongen
  56. Lyndsay Tarus
  57. desaymoz
  58. Ernst-Christoph Stolper
  59. Tim Engel

Organizations

  1. Europe-Third World Centre (CETIM)
  2. CIDSE
  3. Corporate Accountability International - CAI
  4. FI
  5. FIAN
  6. Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’Homme - FIDH
  7. Friends of the Earth International - FoEI
  8. Global Policy Forum - GPF
  9. International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN)
  10. Indonesia for Global Justice - IGJ
  11. SID
  12. Transnational Institute - TNI
  13. Perhimpunan Sanggabuana
  14. Solidaritas Perempuan
  15. WILPF
  16. JATAM (Mining Advocacy Network)
  17. Unión Sindical Obrera (USO)
  18. International-Lawyers.Org
  19. Centro de Políticas Públicas y Derechos Humanos - Perú EQUIDAD
  20. GLOPAN – Africa
  21. Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  22. The Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER)
  23. Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute
  24. The Solar energy institute
  25. Society for Environmental Actions, Reconstruction and Humanitarian response (SEARCH) 
  26. Commission Justice et Paix
  27. Center for International Environmental Law
  28. Asociacion Comunitaria para el Desarrollo SERJUS
  29. Unidad de Protección a Defensoras y Defensores de Derechos Humanos -Guatemala (UDEFEGUA)
  30. Copenhagen Initiative for Central America and Mexico –CIFCA
  31. Fundacion para la Cooperación APY-Solidaridad en Acción
  32. Forschungs- und Dokumentationszentrum Chile-Lateinamerika e.V.
  33. NOAH Friends of the Earth Denmark
  34. IM Swedish Development Partner
  35. Red Internacional de Derechos Humanos -RIDH-
  36. Centre pour l'Environnement et le Développement (CED)/Friend of the Earth Cameroon
  37. Commission Justice et Paix
  38. Amigos de la tierra
  39. Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida
  40. Fundación de Estudios para la Aplicación del Derecho FESPAD
  41. Red Europea de Comités Oscar Romero
  42. We Effect              
  43. ASOCIACIÓN DE INVESTIGACIÓN Y ESPECIALIZACIÓN SOBRE TEMAS IBEROAMERICANOS
  44. ASOCIACIÓN, CENTRAL GENERAL DE TRABAJADORES DE GUATEMALA, C.G.T.G.
  45. Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos
  46. Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University
  47. Federation of Organizations for Social and Educational Assistance (FASE)
  48. Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragem (MAB)
  49. Grupo de Trabajo Suiza Colombia /Arbeitsgruppe Schweiz Kolumbien
  50. Honduras Forum Switzerland
  51. Observatorio de Multinacionales en América Latina (OMAL) - Paz con Dignidad
  52. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
  53. WEED - World Economy, Ecology & Development e.V.
  54. Center for International Environmental Law
  55. WhyHunger
  56. FAIR
  57. Partners for the Land & Agricultural Needs of Traditional Peoples (PLANT)
  58. Homa - Human Rights and Business Centre
  59. ATTAC MAROC
  60. Journalists for Human Rights in Macedonia
  61. FIAN Sweden
  62. KOTHOWAIN (vulnerable peoples development organizatin)
  63. Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific
  64. réseau algérien des association de la pêche artisanale
  65. INKOTA-netzwerk e.V.
  66. Right to Education Project
  67. Fundacion para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer
  68. Africa Development Interchange Network (ADIN)
  69. WUNRN-Women's UN Report Network
  70. Observatorio Ciudadano
  71. Alliance Paysane pour le Développement
  72. Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de España (APDHE)
  73. APEDDUB
  74. CADIRE CAMEROON ASSOCIATION
  75. Convergence malienne contre les accaparements des terres (CMAT)
  76. Justiça Ambiental - Friends of the Earth Mozambique
  77. El Poder del Consumidor
  78. Regeneration Massachusetts
  79. Sanctus Initiative for Human Development and Values Sustainability.
  80. Rural Area Development Programme, RADP
  81. Ecumenical Association of Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development
  82. Ghana Integrated Platform on Land, Water and Seeds Struggles
  83. The Norwegian Forum for Environment and Development
  84. FORUM INTERNATIONAL DES FEMMES DE L ESPACE FRANCOPHONE
  85. Centre for Health Science and Law
  86. Red Nacional de Agricultura Familiar
  87. ARTISANS DU MONDE - Annemasse
  88. Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) / Friends of the Earth Germany (FoE Germany)
  89. The Democracy Center
  90. Women In Development Europe+

 

 

  • Link to the First Treaty Alliance Joint Statement: 
  • Link to the Second Treaty Alliance Joint.

 

Key Priorities for action, escr-net peoples' forum on human rights & business, october 2014, bogota (Colombia)

Key Priorities for action, escr-net peoples' forum on human rights & business, october 2014, bogota (Colombia)