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18 Mar 2014

Adrienne Margolis, Lawyers for Better Business

Access to remedy

In mid March the Permanent Mission of Ecuador in Geneva organised a workshop on business and human rights to discuss a proposal for an international legally binding instrument on human rights, transnational corporations and other business enterprises. The proposal had been put to the United Nations Human Rights Council by Ecuador, supported by 85 states and around 200 NGOs, frustrated at the lack of progress being made on securing access to remedy for the harm caused by multinational corporations. Many of the supporters had taken part in meetings in Medellin…and Bangkok…convened to discuss the progress of the working group implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights…“The UN Working Group has not offered recommendations…to find ways to prevent corporations using international arbitration to avoid accountability for severe human rights and environmental abuses…[It] has not sought to…begin to examine the human rights impacts that emanate from the scarcity of effective extra-territorial regulation…” [said ESCR-NET]