PBI-Canada asks MPs to endorse the call for a UN Binding Treaty on transnational corporations and human rights

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres, the general coordinator of the PBI-Honduras accompanied Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), is part of the campaign supporting the creation of a Binding Treaty.

UPDATE: Members of Parliament Leah Gazan (Winnipeg Centre), Matthew Green (Hamilton Centre) and Paul Manly (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) have now endorsed the call for a Binding Treaty on transnational corporations and human rights.

The United Nations has an inter-governmental working group process in place to develop a Binding Treaty on transnational corporations and human rights.

The goal is to ensure that companies are fully accountable for human rights violations and environmental crimes.

The Binding Treaty would be legally binding in contrast to the existing UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The Global Campaign of more than 250 social movements, civil society organizations, trade unions and communities affected by the activities of transnational corporations has noted that Canada has opposed the UN process for a Binding Treaty.

The Global Campaign is working to ensure the Binding Treaty will:

– create mechanisms that reinforce State responsibility to prevent human rights violations and access to a judicial remedy by those impacted by TNC operations.

– assert the primacy of human rights over trade and investment agreements.

– reflect comprehensive and mandatory human rights due diligence mechanisms with meaningful consequences for non-compliance.

The Global Campaign has highlighted that to be able to accomplish this, an open and participatory process is needed that includes States, but also civil society, Indigenous peoples, impacted communities, and others.

PBI-Canada is calling on Members of Parliament in Canada to support the initiative for the creation of an effective and legally Binding Treaty on transnational corporations and other business enterprises and human rights.

MPs are encouraged to add their name alongside the many elected officials who have already done so via this Global Interparliamentary Network webpage.

For further information, please see this Transnational Institute webpage and the full text of the second revised draft of the Binding Treaty.

The next session of talks on the Binding Treaty will take place in October.

Maria Josefina Caal Xol of the PBI-Guatemala accompanied Peaceful Resistance of Cahabón, a collective of 38 Maya Q’eqchi communities, formed to oppose the construction of the Oxec and Renace hydroelectric dams on the Cahabón River and its tributaries.

PBI-Colombia accompanied Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective (CCAJAR) lawyer Yessika Hoyos has stated: “Unfortunately, our experience with the Guiding Principles from the UN is that companies do not comply with them. That’s why our collective together with other organizations have been supporting the real creation of a Binding Treaty from the UN. Many companies together with the states have been blocking this issue. They haven’t allowed for a Treaty to be created.”

Categories: News Updates


Neil Bryson · January 15, 2021 at 1:41 pm

Terrific initiative….name corporate bad actors, private equity firms especially Blackrock and co venom spreaders. This UN treaty idea can be helpful!

Wes Kmet · January 17, 2021 at 12:24 am

Is it not time? Let us make it happen—people power—–cheers

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