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We want a business and human rights treaty with stronger protections for workers

23 October, 2023This week, the UN negotiations for a business and human rights treaty will resume for its ninth session in Geneva, Switzerland. Together with the ITUC and the other global unions, IndustriALL are pushing for a legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

Progress in national corporate human rights laws and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles are holding companies accountable for human rights abuses, but the patchwork of different rules at national and regional levels allows many companies to circumvent their human rights responsibilities.

After reviewing the draft text, the global unions call for:

  • A closer alignment with the third draft text, which enjoyed wide support, as a basis for this session.
  • Stronger and more detailed provisions to correspond with the original mandate of the UNHRC to effectively constrain corporate impunity, particularly on prevention, access to remedy, legal liability and jurisdiction.
  • The reinstatement of language related to the climate crisis, in particular business obligations to prevent, mitigate and remedy environmental harm, and the establishment of a human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

Says IndustriALL assistant general secretary Kemal Özkan:

“We can’t allow the current exploitative business model along the  global supply chains to continue. There is a need for regulation with responsibility, accountability and transparency.

“The 9th round of negotations for a UN Binding Treaty for Human Rights needs to bring strong rules on remedy and liability against corporate greed and impunity. This has to be done immediately, and the global union movement, together with our civil society allies, istand united in this crucial demand.”