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12 Nov 2017

Gabriela Quijano, Amnesty International & Elodie Aba, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Business and Human Rights Journal

Commentary: Reclaiming access to remedy & the law as an agent of change

"Reclaiming the forgotten pillar and the law as an agent of change," 7 November 2017

Little meaningful action has been taken to date to guarantee effective remedy to victims of corporate human rights abuse... [R]emedy should be a priority for any state genuinely committed to implementing the UNGPs; it may be the single most effective way of ensuring corporate respect for human rights. Amnesty International and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre recently published the briefing Creating a paradigm shift: Legal solutions to improve access to remedy for corporate human rights abuse, [which] put[s] forward concrete legal proposals to tackle hurdles to remedy.

To overcome the challenge...[of] parent companies shield[ing] themselves from liability for abuses committed... by their subsiaries or other entities they control... Amnesty and the Resource Centre recommend that states pass laws imposing on parent companies or companies with the ability to control members of the group an express duty of care... towards individuals and communities whose human rights are affected by their operations... [To address unavailable or inaccessible information, Amnesty and the Resource Centre] recommend that states enact laws requiring companies to generate and maintain information that is relevant for a full understanding of the actual and potential adverse human rights impacts of their activities or projects.