EU: European Economic and Social Committee supports proposed treaty on business & human rights

Author: European Economic and Social Committee, Published on: 19 December 2019

"Binding UN treaty on business and human rights (own-initiative opinion)", 11 Dec 2019

1.2 Human rights infringements can be better prevented when there is an internationally--agreed binding standard, designed to be implemented and protected by states. The EESC welcomes an approach recognising that it is the duty of states to protect, promote and fulfil human rights and that businesses have to respect those rights. 

1.3  The EESC welcomes that the current draft text has considered substantive issues proposed by the EU, such as its recommendations for on the scope to encompass all businesses and for a stronger conceptual alignment with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs)…

 1.5 The EESC stresses that non-binding and binding measures are not mutually exclusive, but shall complement each other...

1.7 Despite much-welcomed major progress, especially in Europe, in relation to non-binding guidelines for respecting human rights in the business context (e.g. UNGPs, OECD MNE Guidelines), a binding treaty is important for those businesses that are not yet taking their responsibilities seriously. In this way, worldwide uniform human rights standards, jurisdiction and applicable law as well as fair and effective access to justice will be assured for victims of business-related human rights infringements. This will also serve to level the playing field for businesses, create legal certainty and create fairer global competition...

 

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