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6 Oct 2023

Mesa por los derechos humanos frente al poder empresarial

Colombia: Civil Society Roundtable requests government to defend the Binding Treaty in the Geneva negotiations


“Towards a Binding Treaty on Human Rights for Transnational Corporations that strengthens Colombia as a global power of life” - 4 October 2023

… Therefore, the CSOs Human Rights Roundtable to address corporate power presents three issues where it considers there are significant setbacks, and on which it expects the Colombian State to pronounce itself in the next negotiations:… 1. Human rights must take precedence over trade and investment rules… The Roundtable considers that human rights take precedence over trade and investment regulatory frameworks. Human rights should in no way be seen as an obstacle to investment, but as a requirement without which it is impossible to invest. Therefore, re-including the primacy of human rights over trade and investment agreements in the preamble is central, as such inclusion would result in greater judicial protection for individuals and communities affected by business operations and in the strengthening of the sovereignty of States and peoples . In addition, the inclusion of this principle could support the renegotiation of trade agreements… 2. The Binding Treaty cannot focus on due diligence as a preventive obligation… The Roundtable advocates that the Binding Treaty develop a broad framework of direct obligations for companies and that, within the obligations of prevention, it goes beyond due diligence and the application of internal business procedures . Due diligence is also an insufficient approach to address human rights violations arising from business operations in contexts of armed conflict, as is the case in Colombia. In these cases, it is essential to investigate the legal responsibility of companies in the very generation of the armed conflict, as well as in the profit they were able to obtain thanks to the context of violence…. 3. The Binding Treaty must guarantee mechanisms for access to justice… The Roundtable considers it essential that this article be strengthened, so that the concept of comprehensive and transformative reparation for victims and affected communities is integrated, since the concept of remedy is insufficient when we talk about irreversible damage to communities and territories. In addition, we support the integration of the proposal of some civil society organizations on the creation of an international tribunal that can settle claims, judge and enforce sentences . This would ensure the implementation of the Binding Treaty, as well as compliance with the obligations established by the instrument…