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The United Nations has voted to legislate against human rights abuses carried out by transnational corporations. Yet, the resolution - proposed by Ecuador and South Africa - was opposed by the US and the member states of the EU.

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva has voted to start elaborating an international legally binding instrument to regulate the activities of Transnational Corporations with respect to human rights. The resolution passed last week with 20 states in favour, 14 against and 13 abstaining at the 26th session of the UNHRC. Among those voting against were the US and EU states.

In September 2013, a declaration led by Ecuador and supported by more than 80 countries, stated the need to move from voluntary guidelines for business on human rights to a legal framework to bring transnational corporations to justice for their human rights violations. The strongest opponents of the resolution were EU states and the US, which also actively lobbied other countries to side with them, threatening them with loss of development aid and foreign direct investment.

The Human Rights Council meeting had come under pressure of unprecedented mobilisation by international civil society groups, with more than 600 of them from various developing and developed countries coming together in an alliance to demand a treaty of this nature. The negotiations for the treaty are slated to start in 2015.


The gLAWcal Team

LIBEAC project

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

(Source: Business Standard)

This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.