New Action4Justice guide: “What can I do when a business has abused my rights?”
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Business and Human Rights: Using legal action can be a key way to hold businesses accountable for human rights and environmental abuse
Businesses are important to communities. They can provide investment, jobs and much needed services. But business does not always benefit people. Sometimes businesses harm people, communities and the environment.
If a business harms your human rights, there are options for you to enforce your rights. You could take a case to court or try to negotiate a resolution to find a solution.
There are difficulties in obtaining a remedy for business human rights abuses.
- In many countries, businesses don’t have a general legal duty not to harm human rights and there may be no national law you can rely on to challenge the harmful activities;
- The business may be based in a different country meaning you may need to ask a foreign court or organisation to look into your case; and
- There may be financial and personal risks in challenging powerful corporate and government actors.
But there are ways to overcome these barriers and hold businesses accountable if they abuse your human rights, take your land or pollute your environment.
This Guide outlines tools and mechanisms you can use to seek a remedy for corporate human rights abuses and to protect your human rights if they are threatened or harmed by business activity...
...It has long been clear that businesses can profoundly impact our human rights. It is now equally clear that businesses have responsibilities and obligations regarding our rights.
The Action4Justice (“A4J”) Business and Human Rights Guide begins from this understanding and seeks to provide answers to the following question: “What can I do when a business has abused my rights?”. In answering this question, the A4J guide takes you on a practical step-by-step process to help you:
- Identify whether a business has committed a human rights abuse;
- Identify what responsibilities and obligations businesses have regarding your rights;
- Determine what mechanisms are available and appropriate for you to enforce your rights;
- Access justice by giving practical and legal tips on how to use legal enforcement mechanisms in practice; and
- Identify where you can find further information and support to help you enforce your rights.
By doing so, the A4J guide seeks to provide communities and civil society with tools to hold businesses accountable for human rights abuse...