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14 Nov 2016

Gianna Merki, Politheor

Commentary: UN Guiding Principles & proposed binding treaty will reinforce human rights protection from corporate abuses

"Human Rights: None of your business?", 11 Nov 2016

The second session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to Human Rights just took place from 24-28 October 2016...There are countless cases in which Transnational Companies (TNCs) have allegedly violated the environment, labour and Human Rights of groups of people all over the world without having been held accountable. The lack of legal structures for international prosecution brings impunity which is certainly not a deserved reward for such actions...While the two first sessions where dedicated to the possible content, scope, nature and form of the treaty, the third session to be held in 2017 will mark the commencement of the negotiations on the elements for the draft of the legally binding instrument...The work on the implementation of the UN Guiding principles does not invalidate the approval of a binding instrument, on the contrary, it reinforces the will to protect Human Rights from corporate abuses. The EU and the International Community shall therefore show active commitment to support, not only the implementation of UN Guide Principles, as also the introduction of a binding International Treaty. Human Rights are not and cannot be voluntary.