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11 Sep 2015

Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly & association

A binding treaty should safeguard civic space, says UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly & association

"A binding international instrument on business & human rights should safeguard civic space", 8 Sep 2015

A binding international treaty that imposes human rights obligations on businesses would be a monumental step towards protecting peaceful assembly and association rights…As the global economy’s insatiable appetite for natural resources grows, the space for ordinary people to voice their concerns about resource exploitation is shrinking…[A]ssembly and association rights are being steamrolled in favour of economic efficiency and profit…[C]orporations are largely shielded from liability for human rights violations resulting from their activities…[A binding treaty] should level the playing field, empowering victims to bypass ineffective or indifferent state redress mechanisms and seek justice at the international level…I believe that such a treaty should regulate all business entities…[Some] states’ reluctance to engage with the binding treaty process is a lost opportunity for them to reinforce and advocacy on behalf of civil society against corporation might.