US Govt. releases paper detailing its approach on business & human rights

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3 May 2013

U.S. "Approach on Business and Human Rights" Neglects Remedies for Victims

Author: Jonathan Kaufman, EarthRights International

I'm...disappointed by the "U.S. Government Approach on Business and Human Rights"...[D]espite enthusiastic references to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the document completely ignores the need for victims to have access to justice and glosses over the administration's troubling record on remedies...[I]t's not that the U.S. Government hasn't done anything on business and human rights -- undeniably, it has...[But it] is simultaneously promoting transparency and voluntary mechanisms while denying those who would use these tools a means to turn them into an effective remedy for the harms they have suffered. Far from a bold vision, the U.S. Government’s “approach” constitutes a lukewarm commitment to ensuring protection for victims when corporations violate human rights.

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1 May 2013

U.S. Government Approach on Business and Human Rights

Author: US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor

Businesses can have a significant impact on the States in which they operate, and on the lives of billions of people. As businesses cross borders they can find themselves operating in difficult environments with weak governance institutions...The idea that business, on the one hand, and government, on the other hand, can simply operate in parallel worlds is not viable. They have to work together...The U.S. government’s approach on business and human rights is intended to support the interests of U.S. companies, enhance the effectiveness of international institutions focused on this issue, and promote the human rights of people around the world...This document illustrates how the U.S. government approaches business and human rights, by providing examples of laws, regulations and policies relevant to the intersection between these issues, and what U.S. companies should know when it comes to respecting human rights throughout their global operations.

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