Binding treaty

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Out now: 2nd Revised Draft

Binding treaty: a brief overview

2014: In June, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva adopts a resolution drafted by Ecuador and South Africa. An open-ended intergovernmental working group (IGWG), chaired by Ecuador, is established with the mandate to elaborate an international legally binding instrument on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with respect to human rights.

2017: The Chair issues Elements for the draft legally binding instrument.

2018: In July, the IGWG presents the Zero Draft, followed by its draft Optional Protocol (an unofficial summary of the Zero Draft is available here). Stakeholders provide input on the Zero Draft during the fourth session of the IGWG in October 2018.

2019: The Revised Draft is published in July (an unofficial summary is available here, as well as an unofficial Spanish translation). In October, stakeholders provide input on content at the fifth session of the IGWG (see our coverage here).

2020: The Second Revised Draft is published in August. The 6th session of the IGWG will be held from 26 to 30 October 2020.

Current and previous drafts

Zero Draft (2018)

Revised Draft (2019)

2nd Revised Draft (2020)

Regional consultations on the Revised Draft (2019-2020)

Debate the Treaty blog series

From 2017 to 2019, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre ran the 'Debate the Treaty' blog series, exploring the content and scope of the proposed binding treaty and analysing previous drafts. Explore our guest blog posts in this series to learn more from thought leaders across the field.