Written contributions by The Global Campaign on theme 1 - Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and human rights obligations

Author: Europe-Third World Centre (CETIM) & Friends of the Earth Internationa, Published on: 1 September 2016

TNCs are bound to respect human rights. This obligation is obviously limited to the workings of the business enterprise and its commercial relations. It is thus not a general obligation, which is incumbent upon states. In fact, states have obligations to the overall population on their territory, besides their international obligations. The drafting of laws, their enforcement and the sanctions imposed on violators are the prerogatives of the states. In this regard, for example, the future treaty should also stipulate that TNCs may not use private security agents outside their business enterprise nor hire law enforcement agents to serve them...[B]y virtue of current international law, TNCs are bound to respect human rights. The Human Rights Council has confirmed this several times. All that remains is to clarify the human rights obligations of these entities and establish an enforcement mechanism...[T]he future international instrument will be ratified by the states, and its implementation will be assured by an international public mechanism...[I]f its enforcement is left to the good will of TNCs, what difference will there be between binding norms and voluntary codes of conduct?...

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