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Article

Treaty on business & human rights could be useful “to cope with current challenges”, says academic

"How multinational companies keep avoiding the threat of regulation", 17 Mar 2015

Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, South Africa and Venezuela proposed a treaty to regulate transnational corporations last year… To be fair…[the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights] were intended to be an interpretation of existing international human rights instruments, codes of conduct and best practices. They were not aimed at creating new regulations or filling any legal gaps. That is why a treaty could be useful…The treaty route, however, also depends on the will of states…A treaty, if supported by most states, could force companies and states to put human rights considerations above monetary profits and could help clarify what needs to be done when a state is unwilling or unable to create and enforce norms to regulate corporate behaviour…Business keeps opposing any prospect of binding international rules, however necessary. We cannot expect a credible commitment to better rules if the governments who are supposed to create and enforce them have such a close relationship with the business sector…