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28 Oct 2020

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Asia Task Force on the Legally-Binding Instrument (ATF)

Press statement of the Asia Task Force on the Legally-Binding Instrument (ATF) on 6th Session of the IGWG

"Asian Network pushes stronger TNC regulations at the UN amidst pandemic ", 28 October 2020.

Amidst the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the negotiations towards a legally binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises and human rights commenced Monday, 26th of October in Geneva, with participation from States, business groups and civil society organizations enabled through various online platforms.

Following the mandate of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution 26/9, States are negotiating at this 6th session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group the 2nd revised draft of the text prepared by Ecuador and released in August 2020...

Civil society organizations have put forward concrete proposals towards a robust international legally binding instrument that would address the gaps in international human rights law on holding transnational corporations accountable for human rights abuses...

Speaking on behalf of the Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity (Global Campaign), Monica Vargas...framed the talks in the context of the Covid pandemic by saying that in a situation where “public health systems have been weakened by the increasingly privatization of health as well as the outsourcing of services by the state, the Treaty could be a tool to protect people's right to health from this marketization of health public service.”...

A central issue in these negotiations is ensuring that there is adequate protection for the rights of victims of corporate abuse. Speaking on behalf of Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN) International, Rachmi Hertanti...drew attention to the need to look at the rights of all affected communities and individuals and emphasize that effective remedies and reparation measures should take into account the differentiated impacts of human rights abuses on specific groups in order to respond adequately to these impacts and their particular needs especially to consider harm that could appear in the future...

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