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Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights' concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of Australia

Author: Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Published on: 22 June 2017

The Committee notes the information provided by the delegation on the ongoing national consultation on the implementation of the 2011 Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The Committee is however concerned about the lack of a regulatory framework to ensure that companies operating in the State party, as well as companies under the State party's jurisdiction acting abroad, fully respect economic, social and cultural rights. The Committee is further concerned that private companies, such as the service providers in the regional processing centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, are responsible for serious human rights violations, and about the lack of proper and independent investigation and complaints mechanisms...The Committee recommends that the State party: establish a clear regulatory framework for companies operating in the State party... by developing a national action plan on business and human rights; ensure legal liability of companies...regarding violations of economic, social and cultural rights by their activities conducted abroad, or resulting from the activities of their subsidiaries or business partners where these companies have failed to exercise due diligence;...ensure that private companies comply with their human rights obligations; [and]...reinforce effective mechanisms to investigate complaints filed against private companies and take effective measures to ensure access to justice for victims.

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