Contribution to the Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights

Author: CIDSE (International family of Catholic social justice organisations), Friends of the Earth Europe, Brot für die Welt (Social Service Agency of the Protestant Church in Germany), SOMO (Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations), IBFAN-GIFA (Geneva Infant Feeding Association), Published on: 6 October 2016

This submission by CIDSE, Friends of the Earth Europe, Brot für die Welt and SOMO focuses on three core elements of a future treaty:

1. Adequate access to remedy: The treaty should include provisions aimed at preventing abuses and ensuring access to remedy for victims. It should affirm the State duty to protect against abuses committed by corporations and codify States’ extraterritorial obligations, such as according to the Maastricht principles.

2. Effective enforcement mechanisms: The treaty should establish instruments and mechanisms that ensure the enforcement of the obligations enshrined therein.

3. The Treaty and the trade and investment regime: The treaty should clearly stipulate the primacy of human rights over corporate rights in relation to trade and investment agreements...

By highlighting a number of treaty provision options relating to priority issues including: enforceability, extraterritorial obligations, piercing the corporate veil, access to remedy, covering the full scope of business relationships including supply chain responsibility, and establishing the primacy of human rights over investor rights, this submission aims to inform the discussions around the treaty and the crucial engagement of States.

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