African Commission on Human & Peoples Rights' draft General Comment proposes corporate accountability for deprivation of right to life

Author: Dr. Nadia Bernaz, in RightsasUsual (UK), Published on: 24 August 2015

"Corporate Accountability in Draft General Comment on Right to Life by African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights"

In June 2015 the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a draft General Comment on Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Right to Life). Paragraph 10 of the document states that

Non-State entities such as private individuals and corporations, including private military and security companies, that are responsible for arbitrary deprivation of life should also be held accountable...

...[If] the African Commission was to include paragraph 10 of the draft General Comment in the final version, it would be the first time, as far as I am aware, that a treaty body mentions the direct responsibility of corporations operating an entirely private business without performing state-like activities. This would be an important development and would further strengthen the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The draft document is open for public consultations (more information here) and the deadline to send contributions is 1 September 2015.

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