Proposed treaty on business & human rights should include provisions on greater protection of human rights defenders, says PBI Mexico

Author: Brent Patterson, on Rabble (Canada), Published on: 22 February 2019

"Curtailing corporate impunity would defend human rights", 20 feb 2019

Peace Brigades International's Mexico Project has posted a statement in support of The Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights, arguing it could improve social conditions and provide greater protection for human rights defenders...

PBI Mexico states, "The past few years have seen a spike in attacks against land, territory and environmental defenders. [...] These defenders are directly impacted by the lack of regulation of the international business sector and the imbalance between corporate power and the weak human rights protection mechanisms implemented by governments across the world."

PBI Mexico argues that the Treaty on Business and Human Rights should include provisions on:

  • The prevention of attacks against those defending their land against the threat of large-scale international investment
  • The protection of the rights of communities and individuals over the profit margins of companies
  • Environmental and human rights assessments to ensure minimal damage in the implementation of economic projects...

Bloomberg has reported that the ending Mexico's state ownership of its energy sector could attract $15 billion in foreign investment and increase oil production to as much as four million barrels per day (from the current 2.5 million barrels) and natural gas production to 10.4 cubic billion feet per day (from the current 5.7 billion cubic feet).

As such, the so-called "investment protection" clause enables the kind of transnational corporation-driven resource extraction that commonly violates the Indigenous right to free, prior and informed consent, that sees violence against the land and women, that risks the pollution of waterways and endangers the right to clean drinking water, and that exacerbates climate change-driven forced migration...

Read the full post here