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22 Feb 2017

Khuraisha Patel & Nomonde Nyembe, University of the Witwatersrand on Peace in Progress

Commentary: Debates on proposed binding treaty on business & human rights should be considerate of gender & race

"Pursuing a binding treaty", 1 Feb 2017

In this article, the authors first trace recent attempts by the international community to bridge normative and governance gaps in business and human rights interactions...Secondly, the authors posit what the form of IGWG as well as the jurisprudential and normative substance of the treaty should entail...[I]t is recommended that the treaty be founded on three interwoven approaches, namely, a gendered, egalitarian and race conscious approach....First, in light of the indivisibility and interrelatedness of human rights, the treaty should guarantee the protection of all human rights over the protection of the rights of investors.  Secondly, an accountability and remediation mechanism that is accessible, equitable, effective, predictable and transparent is crucial for a substantive change from the status quo in corporate accountability.  Lastly, positive obligations to protect, remedy and fulfil human rights should be imposed on corporate entities where they either directly or indirectly violate human rights or regress from the realisation of these rights...To take full advantage of the reach of the proposed instrument, it is essential that IGWG pursues an inclusive and intersectional approach to deliberations surrounding the drafting of the treaty...