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19 Jul 2019

ActionAid International & 19 civil society organizations

NGOs call on EU to analyse content of revised draft on proposed treaty on business and human rights & engage in negotiations

"Citizens demand the EU stops stalling on a treaty to ensure that businesses respect human rights", 19 Jul 2019

This week saw the publication of the landmark revised draft of a UN treaty which aims to prevent human rights abuses by transnational corporations and other business enterprises, and close existing gaps in access to justice for victims.

A coalition of European civil society groups welcomes the publication of the revised draft UN Treaty on business and human rights and calls on the EU to conduct a thorough analysis of it. This is particularly important as the revised draft addresses many of the EU’s previous concerns, by building on the existing UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and defining which business activities should be covered. A new analysis should build the basis for a determined, proactive EU engagement in the upcoming 5th session, taking place in October 2019 in Geneva.

The undersigned therefore urge the EU and its Member States to analyse the content of the revised draft and work in a transparent, inclusive process. This includes sharing their legal analysis, consulting civil society groups and working towards preparing the EU’s participation in the formal negotiation session...

Regrettably, the EU has so far engaged reluctantly in this important international process, despite numerous calls from the European Parliament and from over 580,000 European citizens that it should do so.

As the world’s largest economy and trading block, the EU has a crucial role to play with regards to holding its businesses accountable...

Should the EU fail to organise a joint position on the UN Treaty, Member States must fulfill their responsibility, speak up during the negotiations and bring their experience and perspectives to the international discussion...