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24 Okt 2022

Lawyers for Human Rights

African Civil Society Continues to Reiterates the Need for a Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights and For Meaningful Participation from States Across the Globe

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) together with Fastenaktion and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) is attending the 8th session of the inter-governmental working group on Business and Human Rights.  The proposed treaty builds on the non-binding United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) and National Action Plans, and seeks to ensure that human rights are protected and transnational corporations and states are bound by an international binding instrument and not are mere UNGPs which is currently a non-obligatory framework.

The ongoing negotiations in 2022 present an opportunity for African governments to shape a strong framework that ensures effective access to remedies for victims of rights violations, advance justice in Africa, as well as ensuring that the standards of respect and prevention of human rights are mandatory.

Our stance is that State parties, and particularly African State parties, should continue to support this critical process to develop a legally binding instrument at the multilateral level. The envisioned Treaty will level the playing field and avoid fragmented approaches to corporate responsibility that allow for abuse.

We encourage African State Parties to meaningfully engage in the negotiation process this week to develop a treaty that effectively addresses the common global challenges around prevention of corporate abuses and violations, addresses rising cases of corporate capture, and ensures effective access to remedies for victims of rights violations.