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26 Oct 2016

Dr Daniel Aguirre, International Commission of Jurists

Myanmar is important example of govt. prioritising attracting investment over human rights, says legal expert

"Panel II: Primary obligations of States, including extraterritorial obligations related to TNCs and other business enterprises with respect to protecting human rights", 26 Oct 2016

...Today I have been asked to provide examples of national legislation and international instruments applicable to TNCs and other business enterprises with respect to human rights. Unfortunately, Myanmar...provides more examples of problematic business and human rights regulation...It is clear that the priority is on promoting investment.  The new investment law does not mention human rights.  It requires investors to follow national law.  The problem is that Myanmar, like many other States, does not have adequate human rights protection...A Binding treaty must address this regulatory shortfall...The binding treaty must build capacity; it should help states adopt effective legislative and administrative measures for the criminal and civil liability of corporations for human rights abuses...Investment protection, by contrast, has plenty of applicable standards.  Myanmar is a party to a number of bilateral and regional investment treaties...Aside from many states’ unwillingness or inability to regulate for the protection of the environment and human rights, a binding treaty must address access to remedy...