Commentary: Implications of Zero Draft treaty on business & human rights for construction sector
"Time for construction to step up to its human rights responsibilities?", 8 Jan 2019
- Developments continue apace in human rights responsibilities for businesses. A UN Working Group has published its first draft treaty to regulate the activities of transnational corporations regarding human rights (the Zero Draft).
- Those in the construction sector face particular challenges in safeguarding rights to life, health and safety. Large-scale international projects, delivered to tight timescales and using complex, widespread supply chains, exacerbate the risk of human rights violations, worker exploitation and environmental damage. The construction industry is thus, unsurprisingly, subject to ever-increasing scrutiny in this area.
- This article examines the key proposals of the Zero Draft and considers their practical implications for construction businesses.
- The Zero Draft would require signatory governments to implement a series of laws aimed at ensuring businesses respect human rights. Of particular significance are the proposals for civil and criminal liability for corporations that commit human rights violations – whether directly or indirectly – and for concrete legal requirements to carry out due diligence as to potential impacts on human rights...