[Statement] Joint Statement: Call for an international legally binding instrument on human rights, transnational corporations and other business enterprises

Joint Statement: Call for an international legally binding instrument on human rights, transnational corporations and other business enterprises

This statement has been endorsed by a wide alliance of international networks, organizations and social movements, listed below.[1] It represents the collective expression of a growing mobilization of global civil society calling for further enhancement of international legal standards to address corporate infringements of human rights. It welcomes the recent initiatives by States in the United Nations Human Rights Council, presented by Ecuador in the session of September 2013, to develop an international treaty on legally binding rules for TNCs on human rights issues.

Treaty Website Logo 2

We, the undersigned organisations,

Concerned about the continuing abuses and violations of human rights occurring all over the world which directly or indirectly engage the responsibility of business enterprises;

Concerned also that such abusive conduct often disproportionately impacts women, who comprise the majority of workers in the most vulnerable sectors, peasants, indigenous peoples, persons living in poverty, children among others, and especially concerned by the fact that justice is denied to those who suffer harm,

Considering the invaluable work done by human rights defenders and organisations, trade unions, indigenous rights and women rights defenders and others defending and protecting human rights in the face of corporate- related abuses,

Concerned at the incidence of attacks, harassment, restrictions, intimidation and reprisals against these human rights defenders,

Considering the initiatives taken by some States within and outside the United Nations human rights bodies as well as the action and work undertaken by human rights experts and bodies of the United Nations to provide better protection of human rights in the context of business operations,

Recalling existing States’ obligations under global and regional human rights treaties and the need to implement and complement those treaties to make them effective in the context of business transnational operations,

Convinced of the need to enhance the international legal framework, including international remedies, applicable to State action to protect rights in the context of business operations, and mindful of the urgent need to ensure access to justice and remedy and reparations for victims of corporate human rights abuse,

1. Call upon the States to elaborate an international treaty that:

Affirms the applicability of human rights obligations to the operations of transnational corporations and other business enterprises;
Requires States Parties to monitor and regulate the operations of business enterprises under their jurisdiction, including when acting outside their national territory, with a view to prevent the occurrence of abuses of human rights in the course of those operations;
Requires States Parties to provide for legal liability for business enterprises for acts or omissions that infringe human rights;
Requires States Parties to provide for access to an effective remedy by any State concerned, including access to justice for foreign victims that suffered harm from acts or omissions of a business enterprise in situations where there are bases for the States involved to exercise their territorial or extraterritorial protect- obligations;
Provides for an international monitoring and accountability mechanism;
Provides for protection of victims, whistle-blowers and human rights defenders that seek to prevent, expose or ensure accountability in cases of corporate abuse and guarantees their right to access to information relevant in this context.

2.            Call on the United Nations Human Rights Council to take step towards the elaboration of this treaty, and to that end establish an open ended inter-governmental working group tasked with a drafting mandate.

3.            Call on civil society organisations to take measures towards the establishment of a joint initiative to achieve the objective of a legally binding instrument within the United Nations without delay.

[1] This statement was originally drafted by participants in the first annual Peoples’ Forum on Human Rights and Business. The Forum was convened jointly by ESCR-Net and Forum-Asia from 5 to 7 November in Bangkok, Thailand.

List of Signatories

Accountability Counsel, USA
Action Contre l’Impunite pour les Droits Humains (ACIDH)
Actions pour les Droits, l’Environnement et la Vie , ADEV
ADC Memorial, Russia
ADHOC (Cambodia)
Afghanistan Watch
Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network – AEFJN
Africa Freedom of Information Centre
Africa Youth Coalition Against Hunger Sierra Leone
African Law Foundation (AFRILAW), Nigeria
African Resources Watch (AFREWATCH)
AGORA Espacio Civil, Paraguay
Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Alt-SEAN Burma)
Alyansya Tigil Mina – Alliance Against Mining (Philippines)
Amigos da Terra Brasil / Friends of the Earth Brazil
Anti-POSCO People’s Movement, India
Armanshahr/OPEN ASIA (Afghanistan)
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
Associação Mama Mater/IBFAN, Portugal
Association For Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
Association of Religious Liberty & Languages of Sri Lanka
Avocats Sans Frontieres
Birendra Adhikari Rural Reconstruction Nepal
Brot fuer die Welt
Burma Partnership
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Egypt
CAJAR (Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo), Colombia
Canada Tibet Committee
Casa y Ciudad
CCS, Panama
CEDAL- Centro de Derechos y Desarrollo
CEDH (Centre Oecuménique des Droits Humain), Haïti
CEDHU (La Comisión Ecuménica de Derechos Humanos)
CENIDH, Nicaragua
Center for Human Rights Law Studies (HRLS) Faculty of Law, Universitas Airlangga
Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Center for Women’s Global Leadership
Center of Concern, USA
Central America Women’s Network
Centre d’Appui à la Gestion Durable des Forêts Tropicales (CAGDFT)
Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), South Africa
Centre for human rights and development/Urantsooj Gombosuren
Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.” (CSMM)
Centro de Estudios Ecuménicos (México)
Centro de Estudios Sociales y Culturales Antonio de Montesinos (CAM)
Centro de Investigación y Promoción Social (CIPROSOC)
Centro de Políticas Públicas y Derechos Humanos – Perú EQUIDAD
Centro de Promoción y Desarrollo Rural Amazónico – CEPODRA
Centro de Reflexión y Acción Laboral de Fomento Cultural y Educativo (CEREAL)
Citizens’ alliance for equitable and efficient development (creed) pakistan
Citizens for Justice-(CFJ), Malawi
Citizens Watch Russia
Clean Clothes Campaign
Coalición de Organizaciones Mexicanas por el Derecho al Agua (COMDA)
Col·lectiu RETS
Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH)
Comision Nacional de Enlace (CNE)
Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (CPDH), Colombie
Commission for the Disapeared and Victim of Violence (KontraS)
Commission Justice et Paix Belgique francophone
Committee for the Defence of Iranian People’s Rights (CODIR)
Community Resource Centre (CRC), Thailand
Conectas Direitos Humanos
Conseil Régionales des Organisations Non Gouvernementales de Développement en sigle CRONGD KASAI ORIENTAL
Consultoría Especializada en Justiciabilidad de los DESC (CEJUDESC)
CorA Network for Corporate Accountability
Defenders of Human Rights Centre – DHRC (Iran)
Defensoría del Derecho a la Salud
Democracy Center
DESCA Equipo Pueblo, México
Development and Civilisations Lebret-IRFED (DCLI)
Dhaatri Resource Centre for Women and Children, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh,India
Dignity International
DKA Austria – Hilfswerk der Katholischen Jungschar, Austria
Due Process of Law Foundation
Ecologistas en Acción
Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (Espacio DESC)
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights,
entraide et fraternité
EOHR – Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights
Equitable Cambodia
Espacio de Coordinación de Organizaciones Civiles sobre Derechos
EU-ASEAN FTA Campaign Network
European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ)
European Network of Archbishop Oscar Romero Committees
Europe-Third World Centre (CETIM)
FEMNET – Feministische Perspektiven auf Politik, Wirtschaft & Gesellschaft
FIAN Austria
FIAN Belgium
FIAN International
FIAN Nepal
FIAN Sección México
FIAN Sweden
FIAN Switzerland for the Right to Adequate Food
Fiery Hearts Club, Uzbekistan/France
Finnish League for Human Rights
FOCO Foro Ciudadano de Participación por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos
Focus on the Global South
Food & Water Watch
Food Systems Integrity/Molly D. Anderson, P
Forum Menschenrechte, Germany
Franciscans International
Freedom from Debt Coalition-FDC, Philippines
Friends of the Earth International
Friends of the Earth US
Fundación Comunidad Esperanza y Justicia Internacional (FUNCEJI)
Gemeinschaft für Menschenrechte im Freistaat Sachsen (GMS)
Gidest – Mundo Construyendo Hábitat
Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Global Policy Forum
Global Rights: Partners for Justice, USA
Gong Gam Human Rights Law Foundation, South Korea
Green Advocates International
Groupe de Recheche et de Plaidoyer sur les Industries Extractives ( GRPIE )
Gulf Civil Society Association Forum, Bahrein
Habi Center for Environmental Rights
Hadiza Mahaman/Centre Nigerien des Droits de l’Homme pour la Paix et le Developpement
HORIZONT3000 / Diego Santos-Santiago
Housing International Coalition (HIC)
HRD-Pilipinas (Philippines)
Human Dignity
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan – HRCP (Pakistan)
Human Rights Foundation of Aotearoa New Zealand
Human Rights Movement ‘Bir Duino – Kirgizstan’
Human Rights Online Philippines (Philippines)
ILSA – Instituto Latinoamericano para una Sociedad y un Derecho Alternativos
Inclusive Development International
Indian Social Action Forum – INSAF
Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLinks), UK
Initiative bessere Zukunft/Bernhard Völk
INKOTA-netzwerk e.V.
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Institute for Ecology and Action Anthropology (INFOE)
Instituto de Derechos Humanos Ignacio Ellacuria (IDHIE)
Instituto Mexicano de Derechos Humanos y Democracia (IMDHD)
Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario (IMDEC)
Interfaith Cooperation Forum
Internacional para el Hábitat (HIC AL)
International baby Food Action network
International Campaign for Tibet – ICT (Tibet)
International Children’s Center
International Commission of Jurists
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
International Indian Treaty Council – CITI
International Service for Human Rights
Jamaa Resource Initiatives
JASS (Just Associates) / JASS (Asociadas por lo Justo) – Mesoamerica
Justiça Global
Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP) – Campaign for Life of Dignity for All-Philippines (Philippines)
Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law
Kenyan Human Rights Commission
Kerio Valley Community Organization (KVCO)
KILOS KA (Kilusang Maralita sa Kanayunan), The Philippines
Kirchlcihe Arbeitsstelle Südliches Afrika
Koalisi Rakyat untuk Hak atas Air (KRuHA) / people’s coalition for the right to water
KontraS (Indonesia)
Korean House of International Solidarity (KHIS)
La Comisión Nacional de los Derchos Humanos
La Oficina Jurídica Para la Mujer de Cochabamba, Bolivia
LAHRA (Lanao Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, The Philippines
Lao Movement for Human Rights – MLDH (Laos)
Lawyers without Borders
League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran -LDDHI (Iran)
Legal Aid Society, Uzbekistan
Legal Resources Centre
Legrand Anthony
Liga lidských práv / League of Human Rights, Czech Republic
Liga Mexicana por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (LIMEDDH)
Ligue algérienne pour la défense des droits de l’Homme (LADDH)
Loyola Human Rights Advocacy Project
LuaLua Center for Human Rights (LCHR), Bahrein
Lumiere Synergie pour le Developpement
Mindanao Peoples’ Peace Movement (MPPM), The Philippines
Mindanao Tripeople Women Resource Center (MTWRC), The Philippines
mines, minerals & PEOPLE
MiningWatch, Canada
National Centre For Advocacy Studies, India
Network for Justice and Development, Sierra Leone
Network Social Responsibility
NGO Citizens’ Watch
Nicaragua -United States Friendship Office
Norwegian People’s Aid
O Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens, Brazil
Observatorio Ciudadano, Chile
Observatorio de Multinacionales en América Latina – Paz con Dignidad
Observatorio Sociolaboral y del Diálogo Social en el Ecuador OSLADE – Dick Sellán Bajaña – Director Ejecutivo
Odhikar (Bangladesh)
Oficina Regional para América Latina y el Caribe de la Coalición
OIDHACO – Oficina Internacional de Derechos Humanos – Acción Colombia – red de 35 Ongs europeas
PDHRE, People’s Movment for Human Rights Learning
People’s Health Movement
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PHILRIGHTS)
Philippine Misereor Partneship Inc.
philippinenbuero e.V.
PINK Armenia
Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDHDD)
Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDHDD)
POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (Anti-POSCO peoples movement), India
Positive Peace Group
Pradžių pradžia (Promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding), Lithuania
Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER), Mexico
Radar-Colectivo de Estudios Críticos en Derecho
REDES-Friends of the Earth Uruguay
Réseau national de défense des droits humains (RNDDH), Haití
Rural Reconstruction Nepal
Russian Research Center for Human Rights
Sakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
Salam Bahrain for Human Rights
SAVEGREEKWATER Initiative for the non privatization of water in Greece
Servicio Internacional Cristiano de Solidaridad con los Pueblos de América Latina – SICSAL / Armando Márquez Ochoa
Share The World’s Resources
Social Justice Connection
Social Justice Ireland
Social Research and Development Center
Society for Environmental Actions, Re-Construction & Humanitarian response (SEARCH)
Sose Women’s Issues
Stop the Wall Campaign (Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign)
SUMPAY Mindanao, Inc., The Philippines
Taiwan Association for Human Rights
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines – TFDP (Philippines)
The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
The Institute for Ecosoc Rights
The Jus Semper Global Alliance
The Network Stop Rönnbäck Nickel Mining Project in Ume river, Tärnaby, Sweden
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)
Traidcraft, UK
Transnational Institute
Universal Rights Network
Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation
Vietnam Committee on Human Rights – VCHR (Vietnam)
VIVAT International (Geneva)
Welthaus Diözese Graz-Seckau, Austria
WIDE – Network for Women´s Rights and Feminist Perspectives in Development (Austria)
WomanHealth Philippines
Women’s Environment and Development Organization
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Netherlands
World Forum Of Fisher People (WFFP)
World March of Women
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
WUNRN – Women’s UN Report Network
YAC Nepal


For more information please visit http://www.treatymovement.com/

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