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Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Update - Issue 32, Sep 2019

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Published on: 30 September 2019

Welcome to our Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Update. Formerly known as Quarterly Bulletin, this Update highlights a specific topic each quarter, as well as key developments in corporate legal accountability...

Quarterly highlight: The Lengthy Journey towards a Treaty on Business & Human Rights

The ongoing discussion [on a binding treaty on business and human rights] has been marked by several key milestones; the most recent of which is the release of the Revised Draft Treaty by the government of Ecuador in July 2019...We have argued elsewhere that for any Treaty to be effective it must pass three key tests...How does the Revised Draft Treaty measure up against this criteria compared to the 'Zero Draft' of 2018? 

Vulnerable Groups:..The Revised Draft Treaty gives greater recognition and affords increased protection to human rights defenders, both in its preamble and in several operative provisions, and bears key improvements towards ensuring gender justice and to the protection of persons living under occupation and in other conflict-affected areas. The Treaty rightly acknowledges other at-risk groups. . .

Access to Remedy and Justice:...Perhaps on of the Revised Draft's most compelling aspects is that it "rightly places its raison d' être on victims and their protection," as Antonella Angelini notes. The strengthened provisions on legal liability for enterprises have also been widely welcomed, including by Carlos Lopez who has highlighted their "enormous significance for the implementation of international criminal law and human rights law in relation to business enterprises." 

Transparency and Due Diligence:..The Revised Draft includes important provisions requiring states to introduce legislation to make human rights due diligence mandatory and to oblige business to "take appropriate actions to prevent human rights violations or abuses in the context of its business activities."...

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