From CSR codes of conduct to binding rules on corporate behavior
Under globalization, big corporations operating across borders have lost their soul...The above complaints are not new and have been aired by trade unions and CSOs in numerous global, regional and national forums for at least half a century...One notable outcome from the early campaign for rules was the adoption in 1977 by the International Labor Organization of the "Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy"...The 1977 ILO Declaration is fairly comprehensive in scope. The problem is that the Tripartite recommendations are non-binding...Meanwhile, the trade unions, CSOs, Church and consumer groups in the developed countries have joined the global campaign to curb TNC abuses by pressuring their own home-grown TNCs to stop violating labor, human and environmental standards in countries where the TNCs operate...It is against the above historical backdrop that a number of TNCs began adopting their respective Codes of Conduct...However, these individual Codes of Conduct cannot substitute for a global binding standard to govern TNC behavior...And now, the latest news: The UN is debating a proposed UN treaty on TNCs and human rights. The proposal, originally submitted in 2014 by Ecuador and South Africa, seeks to elaborate an international binding instrument to regulate the activities of TNCs and "other business enterprises" (OBEs). Will the UN be able to adopt this?...Or will everyone wait for another half a century before a binding one is finally adopted?