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A Business and Human Rights Treaty: The Risks of Human Rights Counter-Diplomacy

Author: Luis Yanes, Opinion Juris, Published on: 9 August 2018

[N]either the draft, nor any posts regarding it, have addressed one of the mayor risks that all UN human rights instruments have historically presented, this is, the vulnerability to human rights counter-diplomatic tactics...

The draft zero repeats many of the mistakes... we have seen with the current human rights treaties. It repeats the language used by other treaties...in regards to reservations. Hence, it needs to develop a more sophisticated approach, whereas a clear mechanism to object incompatible reservations is in place, or, whereas the Committee is provided with the authority to determine incompatibilities.

The risk of non-compliance is ultimately unavoidable with the current draft zero. Thus, it is essential that the treaty contains clear provisions that require state parties to incorporate into domestic law the set of rights and obligations enshrined in the instrument. It is also essential that its Committee is given sufficient teeth to be able to ensure that non-complying states are held accountable.

Civil society, academia and those states that champion human rights must be ready to use their knowledge and skills to make sure that a treaty on B&HR rights is less vulnerable to counter-diplomatic tactics...

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