Experts’ open letter urges govts. to engage in proposed treaty process in a constructive & informed manner

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1 October 2018

An Open Letter to States Concerning an International Legally Binding Instrument on Business and Human Rights

Author: Scholars & experts in public international law, human rights law, business & human rights, international economic law (full list in the document)

As scholars and experts in the fields of public international law, human rights law, business and human rights, and international economic law, we have closely followed and analysed the work of the Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIGWG)...

This open letter addresses these issues with a view to assist states as well as other relevant stakeholders in engaging with the ongoing process (including the Fourth Session of the OEIGWG) in a constructive and informed manner. 

International Legally Binding Instrument as a Necessary Complement to Existing Instruments

We acknowledge the positive contribution made by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other initiatives...Significant gaps, however, remain in ensuring that businesses respect human rights and effective remedies are available to victims of business-related human rights abuses.  There is also no legally binding international framework to facilitate mutual cooperation and international assistance among states to hold business enterprises accountable for human rights abuses...

States should Negotiate in Good Faith on the Basis of the Zero Draft

The zero draft seems to reflect the input provided by states and other stakeholders.  All states should therefore engage in the process of negotiating an international legally binding instrument in good faith.  

Even though we consider that the zero draft needs substantial refinement and revisions to adequately fulfil the mandate of the OEIGWG, it provides a valuable basis for further negotiations...

Resolution 26/9 as Sufficient Legal Basis for Holding Further Sessions...

This letter will remain open for signature until the 4th session of the OEIGWG ends on Friday, 19 October 2018. [Please see contact details in the PDF]

Download the full document here