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10 Aug 2020

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) & Fanciscans International

Statement from FIDH and Franciscans International on the Second Revised Draft of the Binding Treaty

"Second Revised Draft of Binding Treaty: An Important Step Toward Protecting Human Rights from Corporate Abuses", 10 August 2020.

...FIDH and FI welcome the efforts made by the Chairmanship of the IGWG to publish the new draft of the LBI ahead of the October 2020 6th session in Geneva. We are pleased to note that it takes into account some of the comments made by civil society organisations during the latest negotiation session and in recent months.

...we underline the following positive aspects of the new text: • Explicit inclusion of State-owned enterprises in the definition of ‘business activities’;
• Reference to ‘business relationship’ instead of ‘contractual relationship’ to define the scope of application of the LBI provisions;
• Inclusion of persons who suffer harm in assisting victims or in preventing victimisation, in the paragraph entailing the definition of victims;
• Integration of a more specific gender perspective in art. 6;
• Reference to free, prior and informed consent for indigenous people in art. 6.3...

In spite of these many and substantive improvements, and in order for the treaty to truly be a significant step forward in protecting human rights from corporate abuses, the current text still has shortcomings that must be addressed...

• Expressing more clearly in art. 6 that businesses shall be held liable for a failure to comply with their HRDD obligations;
• Better clarifying art. 6. paragraph g and explicitly mentioning that enhanced due diligence should also contemplate the possibility of disengagement if the respect of human rights cannot be guaranteed in conflict-affected areas;
• Strengthening the provision of art. 7.6 on the reversal of the burden of proof to the benefit of victims, which is an essential element in granting access to effective remedy in cases of human rights abuses linked to business activities;
• Further clarification through separate provisions concerning civil and criminal liability...