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UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of assembly & association calls for binding human rights treaty for corporations

"Natural resources sector: UN expert calls for binding human rights treaty for corporations", 18 Jun 2015

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, called for a new treaty binding businesses to respect fundamental human rights, and for States and corporations to fully engage with civil society organizations in the context of natural resource exploitation. “Corporations play an outsized role in the decision-making processes about exploitation of natural resources. But they are not subject to legally binding human rights obligations,” Mr. Kiai told the UN Human Rights Council during the presentation of his latest report. “It is time to address this issue more robustly; corporations must not escape responsibility to safeguard human rights.” In response to these concerns, the Special Rapporteur called upon States to enact a legally binding human rights instrument that applies to all corporations, regardless of their size or geographical scope. “I am aware that some would rather strengthen compliance with the Guiding Principles than have a binding treaty. But this should not be an either/or matter: Both should be pursued to protect human rights.”

 

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