Day 2 of UN Treaty negotiations: Participation remains high, with discussions focusing on Rights of Victims and Prevention (human rights due diligence)

Author: ECCJ, Belgium, Published on: 16 October 2019

Day 2 of the negotiations of the Open-ended Inter-governmental Working Group (OEIGWG) for the elaboration of an International Legally Binding Instrument on Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with respect to human rights began on Tuesday 15 October with still good participation (more than 50 states present). .. Under discussion were articles 4 and 5 concerning Rights of Victims and Prevention respectively; however submissions relating to Day 1's discussion on Scope continued to emerge…

 The title of Article 4 'Rights of Victims' provoked the response from several experts, states and civil society organisations (CSOs) that it be changed to more empowering language, namely 'Right to redress' or using the expression ’rights-holders’…

Indeed, the Chair-Rapporteur explained the article’s aim as clarifying a certain set of minimal procedural rights for cases involving corporate human rights abuses…

Along the same lines, states delegates and CSOs raised the issue of the need to explicitly mention children in terms of right to redress and barriers to justice; as well as stronger language on women as they face unique barriers...

The issue of the reversal of the burden of proof onto the defendant business entity in provoked heated discussion, eliciting concerns of incompatibility with domestic legal systems and even national constitutions

The idea of a rebuttable presumption of control was also raised, namely that a parent company can be presumed to control its subsidiaries and have effective control or influence over other business entities in its supply chain…

The recurring issue of the scope was again raised on the second day of negotiations…

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