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Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin - Issue 29, December 2018

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Published on: 11 December 2018

Welcome to our Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin -- highlighting a specific topic each quarter, as well as key developments in corporate legal accountability...

Quarterly highlight: The Zero Draft Treaty on Business and Human Rights

In July 2018, the open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (IGWG) released the first official draft of the legally binding instrument on business and human rights. This “Zero Draft” and the later released Draft Optional Protocol were discussed, for the first time, during the 4th session of the IGWG in October 2018...

Key Concerns Raised in the framework of the IGWG...

Some critics of the Draft demand that the binding instrument create direct obligations for companies and include the criminal liability of companies and individuals (the Zero Draft only establishes direct obligations for states), and that it apply to all corporations, including national and state-owned (the Zero Draft only applies to transnational corporations). Numerous stakeholders have emphasised the need to clearly define the rights and definition of victims, calling for the inclusion of provisions on the protection of human rights defenders, including women human rights defenders, as key actors for corporate accountability and for the effective protection of victims in conflict-affected areas, including those under occupation. Another key demand is the strengthening of preventative and mandatory human rights due diligence and the improvement of enforcement and complaint mechanisms to ensure effective access to remedy for victims of corporate human rights abuse...

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