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8 Jul 2016


Commentary: A business & human rights treaty could regulate extraterritorial obligations by establishing universal jurisdiction

"Options for shaping the UN Treaty on businesses and human rights", 6 Jul 2016

In May, CIDSE held a legal seminar on the Treaty in Brussels…to discuss options for enforcement mechanisms for the Treaty linked to access to justice…

So far, while international law has defined the duties of states to protect human rights, it has not explored enough the responsibility of corporations for their human rights violations…The Treaty is a unique opportunity to tackle the many human rights violations being perpetrated by numerous corporations nowadays…

A UN Treaty could mean a major advancement in regulating extraterritorial obligations by establishing universal jurisdiction…

Furthermore, legal actions against corporations are lengthy and expensive. In this regard, the Treaty could be a valuable instrument to help affected communities to face the challenges in foreign courts, but also to improve mutual legal assistance between host country where violations occur and the home country of the parent corporation so as to strengthen local justice systems…[refers to Endesa (part of Enel), Shell]