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22 Jan 2015

Salil Shetty, Amnesty International, in Guardian (UK)

Treaty on business & human rights is necessary to make businesses live up to their responsibilities, says Amnesty Intl.

“Corporations have rights. Now we need a global treaty on their responsibilities,” 21 Jan 2015

…The debate over a binding international treaty on corporate human rights responsibilities has revealed deep divisions between the south – largely behind it – and Europe and other OECD member countries, which are staunchly opposed. In general, civil society groups support the negotiation of a treaty while business is, on the whole, against…Amnesty International supports the development of a treaty…because we believe states must fulfil their duty to protect people against all human rights abuses...That does not mean disregarding or dismantling the UN guiding principles. It means building on them and making key provisions…mandatory. A treaty could clearly set out what the state duty to protect means in the context of business operations, including with regard to…multinational groups…A treaty should require each state to pass laws to make corporate human rights due diligence mandatory, and introduce sanctions and legal liability for companies that fail to act responsibly…[Also refers to Shell]