Second draft of UN Binding Treaty on transnational corporations released prior to October negotiations

Published by Brent Patterson on

On August 6, the second revised draft of the Binding Treaty on transnational corporations and human rights was released.

The preamble to it includes the text: “Emphasizing that civil society actors and human rights defenders have an important and legitimate role in promoting the respect of human rights by business enterprises, and in preventing, mitigating and seeking effective remedy for business-related human rights abuses.”

This follows the release of the Front Line Defenders report in January of this year that told us that 304 human rights defenders had been killed last year, as well as the release of the Global Witness report in July that documented that 212 land and environmental defenders were killed in 2019 (up from 164 in 2018).

This second revised draft will be discussed at the 6th session of intergovernmental negotiations that will be held in October 26-30 in Geneva.

This past February, Equal Times reported: “Discussions are taking place within the United Nations on introducing a legally-binding instrument to regulate the activities of multinationals. Progress is, however, very slow, with countries such as the United States, Russia, China and Brazil doing everything they can to block the process.”

PBI-Colombia accompanied Yessika Hoyos from the Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective (CCAJAR) has also commented: “Many companies together with the states have been blocking this issue. They haven’t allowed for a Treaty to be created.”

And given/despite the number of Canadian corporations implicated in human rights violations related to mining and oil and gas operations, Oxfam Canada has noted: “Canadian government officials have been largely absent from the process so far.”

Peace Brigades International supports the call for a binding global United Nations Treaty on business and human rights.

The full text of the second revised draft can be read here.

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