UN treaty process on business and human rights: Input from the international business community

The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Business and Human Rights (IWG) is scheduled to take place in Geneva from 24 to 28 October 2016.

Published: 16 Oct 2016
Type: News

Geneva,  17 October 2016 – The IWG was established by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2014 and is mandated to elaborate an international legally binding treaty on business and human rights. This second session will continue to elaborate on the potential scope of the treaty.

Ahead of this second meeting, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and a number of partners (International Organisation of Employers; International Chamber of Commerce; and Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD), have submitted a joint advocacy paper highlighting numerous considerations for the IWG to take into account during the course of its dialogue.

Click here to download the joint statement. Key recommendations made by the paper include:

  • The treaty should strengthen the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights;
  • To be effective, the treaty’s jurisdictional scope must include all business enterprises;
  • The UN treaty process should build on the UN “protect-respect-remedy” framework and respect the established division of roles between states and companies;
  • Access to remedy must be local to be effective;
  • A positive and constructive approach is needed which also focuses on support for business.

WBCSD’s human rights work

“Meeting basic needs and respecting human rights” is one of nine key priority areas within the WBCSD’s Action2020 platform. As part of efforts to contribute to achieving this priority, WBCSD remains committed to identifying solutions to support the operationalization of the UN Guiding Principles, with the aim of considerably increasing the number of companies knowing and showing that they are respecting human rights.

Furthermore, the Council continues to emphasize that meeting the corporate responsibility to respect human rights is a key contribution to and vehicle through which business can help achieve the broader vision of peaceful and inclusive societies embraced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For more information, please contact James Gomme, Manager, Social Impact – gomme@wbcsd.org

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