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31 Aug 2017

Daniel Blackburn, International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR)

Removing Barriers to Justice: how a treaty on business and human rights could improve access to remedy for victims

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Section 1 of this report analyses five well-known court cases, setting out with regard to each the specific legal and practical problems that serve as barriers to justice for the victims. The cases profiled here are well documented examples of some of the adverse impacts of business on human rights.

Section 2 analyses the identified barriers to justice thematically, exploring how each barrier is created, its implications for access to remedy, and the prospects for reform that are underway, with a particular focus on policy developments in European countries.

Section 3 describes the potential complementarity between a future UN Treaty and the existing international normative framework on Business and Human Rights that was created by the UNGPs in 2011. It also describes the EU's engagement with the UNGP and the Treaty to date.

Based on key problems identified in the case studies (Section 1), the legal analysis (Section 2) and the existing international normative framework (Section 3), Section 4 proposes to include seven areas of reform in the draft Treaty to address the barriers to access to remedy on the part of victims, as well as some of the structural causes of adverse business-related human rights impacts.