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23 Jun 2015

Larry Catá Backer, Coalition for Peace & Ethics

Academic studies possible successes & failures in negotiating binding treaty on business & human rights

"Considering a treaty on corporations and human rights: Mostly failures but with a glimmer of success", Jun 2015

In June 2014, three years after it endorsed the U. N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Council moved to establish an open-ended intergovernmental working group to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises...The substantive positions of most stakeholders are now quite clear. They appear perhaps irreconcilable. This chapter will consider what the process of negotiating the contemplated treaty may reveal about the state of structuring governance frameworks for business and human rights either within the anticipated treaty framework or under the UNGPs...Part II considers the normative and structural difficulties of the move toward a comprehensive business and human rights treaty. Part III then considers its benefits...Taken together what may become clear is that even were the move toward a treaty to end in failure, the movement toward more robust governance of the human rights effects of economic activity will emerge stronger...