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28 Jul 2015

Phil Bloomer, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

NGOs need to push govts. to show leadership in business & human rights treaty process, says Phil Bloomer

"Negotiating and fighting for a binding treaty on business and human rights", 27 Jul 2015

The idea of a binding treaty is to add teeth to international law to the UN guiding principles for business and human rights, endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011…However, advocates…call for companies to be obliged, rather than encouraged, to demonstrate due diligence and remedy for human rights abuses in their operations and supply chains. At the four-day meeting in Geneva earlier this month a few states sought an inclusive and constructive negotiation…The good news is that there are emerging some honest brokers – individuals who are prepared to take leadership and use it wisely to bring compromise between warring parties…But there are also major obstacles…[There was no compromise] to remove a footnote which might limit the treaty to transnational companies, and exclude domestic-only companies…To meet Ruggie’s challenge, there is potential to work with respected academics and think tanks who are already scoping the alternative approaches to a treaty, and helping to define those which have stretch-targets but are also achievable…