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15 Jun 2016

Anne van Schaik & Lucia Ortiz, Friends of the Earth, on Common Dreams

5 Years of Failure - Why UN Voluntary Measures Aren't Stopping Bad Business Behavior

 …[T]he UN Guiding Principles, nor the related National Action Plans, have been able to hold large multinational corporations to account. They have also not been able to provide affected people and communities with a strong, enforceable mechanism to ensure they have access to justice, and secondly that any judgment or verdict on their case will be also implemented…

Luckily, it is not all doom and gloom. On 26 June 2014, the UN Human Rights Council adopted resolution 26/09 calling for an intergovernmental working group to establish binding rules for transnational corporations and other businesses in relation to human rights…This historic decision means that, if the Treaty is adopted and enforced, international human rights law will for the first time apply to the activities of transnational corporations…

However, the European Union, as well as other UN Members, voted first against the resolution…They claim more attention needs to be given to the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles…

The EU’s and US’s lack of support for the UN treaty on business and human rights stands in stark contrast with its support for securing privileged treatment for corporations around the globe through investment treaties and trade deals…[Also refers to BHP Billiton, Chevron, Shell, Vale, Wilmar International]