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7 Apr 2016

Anna Bulman, Legal Resources Centre

African voices must be heard in business & human rights treaty debate

"South Africa Debates the Merits of the Proposed Treaty", 31 Mar 2016

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) co-hosted a public debate entitled “A binding treaty on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights: A good or bad idea?” on Friday 19 February [2016]...This piece presents some of the stories and opinions that were shared at the public debate...[Questions included the following:]

  • What current mechanisms do we have to address corporate human rights abuses and crimes and are they adequate? Is there a need for a Treaty? Might the Treaty distract from achieving short-term gains?
  • What are some major concerns that need to be addressed?
  • What content should the Treaty cover?
  • What is the relevance of extra-territorial obligations?
  • We need country ratification for the realisation of a Treaty. Even if NGOs support it, would it not jeopardise ratification to include economic social and cultural rights considerations?
  • What can African civil society bring to the corporate accountability table?