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Article

28 Oct 2021

Author:
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) & Global Union Federations

Trade Unions provide text proposals on Third Revised Draft of proposed binding treaty on business & human rights

"Joint trade union proposals for textual amendments to the third revised draft of a legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises", 25 Oct 2021

The global trade union movement welcomes the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group’s request for specific textual proposals on the third revised draft of the Legally Binding Instrument.

..."[W]e provide the following comments on the third revised draft:

We recommend a reference to all ILO Declarations and Conventions...

A formulation based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination in international human rights law would ensure that no protected characteristics are left out of an otherwise exhaustive list...

A comprehensive definition of victim should include persons who have suffered harm in intervening to assist victims in distress or to prevent victimization so that human rights defenders, including trade unionists, are implicitly covered by the term.

We believe that this non-exhaustive list of remedies should include apologies (both public and private) and, most importantly, reinstatement in employment...

We strongly recommend including a non-exhaustive list of legal and policy measures that States can take to ensure that business enterprises respect all internationally recognised human rights and prevent and mitigate human rights abuses...

A reference to the judicial process of disclosure or discovery would help further clarify the intent of this Article...

We recommend that this important provision allowing for the reversal of the burden of proof in favour of victims not be left up to the discretion of judges...

We believe that our suggested formulation better articulates the intention behind this Article. It is our firm view that while the requirement to implement human rights due diligence is critical in ensuring that companies take a proactive and hands-on approach to ensure human rights are fully complied with in the supply chain or the corporate group, it cannot become a substitute for ensuring a right to remedy for victims of corporate negligence

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