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29 Sep 2016

International Organisation of Employers, International Chamber of Commerce, Business and Industry Advisory Committee & World Business Council for Sustainable Development

UN Treaty Process on Business and Human Rights: Further considerations by the international business community on a way forward

Human rights are a high priority for the international business community. BIAC, ICC, IOE, and WBCSD and their millions of member companies around the world have been engaged in this subject for many years...As part of this ongoing activity, BIAC, ICC, IOE, and WBCSD and their members have constructively participated in the work of the Intergovernmental Working Group (IWG). After submitting initial written observations on the UN treaty process in June 2015, the groups actively participated in the IWG’s first meeting in July 2015 and have since then proactively engaged in the process...BIAC, ICC, IOE, and WBCSD are concerned that certain parameters of the IWG’s early discussions, if reflected in an initial draft treaty text, would severely constrain the effectiveness of any eventual proposed treaty...1) The treaty should strengthen the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights...2) To be effective, the treaty’s jurisdictional scope must include all business enterprises...3)  The UN treaty process should build on the UN “protect-respect-remedy” framework and respect the established division of roles between states and companies...4) Access to remedy must be local to be effective; extraterritorial jurisdiction is no panacea...5) A positive and constructive approach is needed which also focuses on support for business.