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Binding Treaty

In June 2014, the UN Human Rights Council took steps to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises. Read about the latest developments, our debate series, and wider steps towards Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence.

Out now: Victims' Rights Under the Second Revised Draft

How does the 2020 Draft compare to the 2019 Revised Draft and what does it mean for the rights and protection of victims of corporate abuse? Have a look at our latest Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Update to learn more.

Binding treaty: a brief overview

2014: In June, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva adopts a resolution drafted by Ecuador and South Africa. An open-ended intergovernmental working group (IGWG), chaired by Ecuador, is established with the mandate to elaborate an international legally binding instrument on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with respect to human rights.

2017: The Chair issues Elements for the draft legally binding instrument.

2018: In July, the IGWG presents the Zero Draft, followed by its draft Optional Protocol (an unofficial summary of the Zero Draft is available here). Stakeholders provide input on the Zero Draft during the fourth session of the IGWG in October 2018.

2019: The Revised Draft is published in July (an unofficial summary is available here, as well as an unofficial Spanish translation). In October, stakeholders provide input on content at the fifth session of the IGWG.

2020: The Second Revised Draft is published in August (an unofficial summary is available here). The 6th session of the IGWG will be held from 26 to 30 October 2020.

Current and previous drafts

Featured contents

Second Revised Draft: Unofficial Summary

This unofficial summary of the Second Revised Draft of the Binding Treaty includes core elements on rights of victims, human rights due diligence, legal liability of businesses and access to justice.

Latest news and commentary on the Second Revised Draft

In this story, download the Second Revised Draft, explore statements from civil society actors on the new draft and learn more about regional consultations and recommendations on the previous Revised Draft (2019)

Debate the Treaty blog series

From 2017 to 2019, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre ran the 'Debate the Treaty' blog series, exploring the content and scope of the proposed binding treaty and analysing previous drafts. Explore our guest blog posts on the Binding Treaty to learn more from thought leaders across the field.


Where next?

Mandatory Due Diligence

Find out more about efforts to bring about mandatory human rights due diligence laws

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Find out more about the "Protect, Respect and Remedy" framework