This is an exciting week at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, as negotiations on an international, legally binding treaty on business and human rights begin. Starting on 6 July, the negotiations are the result of a groundbreaking resolution that was adopted by the Human Rights Council in June 2014 and established an intergovernmental working group to set to work on developing the treaty (resolution 26/9). Follow #stopcorporateabuse and @TreatyAlliance to keep up to date with all the latest developments.
SOMO and other civil society organisations from all over the globe have formed the ‘Treaty Alliance’ and are closely observing these negotiations. Organisations within the Treaty Alliance work with communities, workers and individuals suffering abuses and violations of their rights as a result of businesses.
The Treaty Alliance believes that the international legal framework to protect human rights in the context of business operations needs to be strengthened, and that it needs to complement other instruments in the field of business and human rights. There is an urgent need to improve access to justice, remedy and reparations for victims and to stop corporate human rights abuses.
Based on its expertise in researching business-related human rights abuses and supporting people whose rights are violated, SOMO has contributed to a written submission for the negotiations together with Friends of the Earth Europe, CIDS E, Bread for the World, Global Policy Forum and IBFAN (see link below).
During the negotiations, SOMO researchers will bring their expertise to the table wherever possible. They will also keep a close eye on the political dynamics to get a better insight into the opportunities and constraints of the treaty and to identify research questions that still need to be addressed in the future process.
Alongside the formal negotiations, there will be mobilisation events going on outside the UN premises in Geneva, organised by the Stop Corporate Impunity Campaign – which SOMO also supports .
Follow #stopcorporateabuse and @TreatyAlliance to keep up to date with all the latest developments. Or go to treatymovement.org
- Web page of the IGWG, where you can follow procedures online
- Written submission to which SOMO contributed
- People’s mobilisation