Centre for Business & Human Rights

Legally Binding Treaty

The IICA provides support to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs during negotiations in the United Nations. The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva through resolution 26/9, in 2014 established an Intergovernmental Working Group created to elaborate a “legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises” (a draft treaty on business and human rights). The Working Group held three sessions, with its next session scheduled for October 2018 and the “Zero Draft” was released in 2018 and trongly focuses on the key issue of access to justice and remedy by those impacted by business operations.

The main features of the ‘Zero Draft’ are

1.The Convention underlines the importance of civil and criminal liability provisions for natural and legal person liable for
violations of human rights undertaken in the context of business activities of transnational character.

2.Emphasizes States roles as primary duty bearers, and reinforces their main obligations to regulate, prevent, sanction and
prosecute business activities which result in human rights abuses.

3.Recognises the primacy of Human Rights over all trade agreements.

4.Includes the liability for violation of Human Rights in its supply chain.

5.Recognises that all businesses enterprises, regardless of their size, sector, operational context, ownership and structure shall
respect all human rights, while focusing in other provisions on the specific challenges of transnational activities.

6.The Convention stresses on the States duty to strengthen and establish legislations to ensure, companies of transnational
character comply with and conduct due diligence procedures, comprising but not limited to, identifying, assessing, monitoring
and reporting on human rights issues across it value chain. And these obligations also be the included in contractual matters
with Companies with Transnational character.

7.Includes a comprehensive definition of remedies, which specifically mentions environmental remediation and ecological
restoration.

8.Emphasis on the reversal of burden of proof for the purpose of fulfilling the victim’s access to justice.

9.The convention defines jurisdiction as where violation committed, or where the company has headquarters, substantial
operations, has subsidiary, agency, instrumentality, branch, representative office or the like.

10.Emphasis on International cooperation for fulfilment of treaty obligation, including mutual assistance in initiating and carrying
out investigations, prosecutions and judicial proceedings

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