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Article

20 Oct 2021

Author:
Prof. Dr. Markus Krajewski, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany), published by CIDSE

Analysis of the Third Draft of the UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights

…[The Third Revised Treaty] provides ‘a useful, appropriate and sufficiently clear basis for substantial negotiations’, but still needs to be improved in various details to be more precise and effective enough to protect human rights and the environment.

…CIDSE and its member organisations call on the EU and absentee states to engage actively and constructively in the negotiations of the seventh and future sessions of the working group…

…[T]he provisions on legal liability in Article 8 …maintain the idea that enterprises can be liable for their own business activities as well as for activities in their business relationships, in particular, if one entity controls, manages or supervises another entity.

[The Draft Treaty] could be improved with language addressing the presumption of control and of joint liability…[it] could also clarify that adherence to human rights due diligence standards can be one but should not be the only factor to be considered when determining liability.

…[T]he general principles [on trade and investment agreements] contained … could be strengthened by adding obligations concerning human rights impact assessments for new trade and investment agreements as well as obligations in the context of dispute settlement.

…[It] should oblige states to monitor and revise existing agreements if necessary.

… [R]eferences to human rights defenders] in the preamble…could be complemented by specific obligations of states to protect human rights defenders [in the body of the Draft Treaty] …The [latest] Draft limit[s] references to environmental issues to the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment in line with… the mandate of the OEIGWG and its institutional context…

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