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Article

18 Oct 2021

Author:
International Organisation of Employers (IOE), BusinessEurope & Business at OECD

Intl. Organisation of Employers, Business at OECD & BusinessEurope comment on Third Revised Draft Treaty on Business and Human Rights

"IOE, Business at OECD (BIAC) and BusinessEurope position on the Third Revised Draft of the Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, the Activities of Transnational Cooperations and other Business Enterprises", 13 Oct 2021

[We remind] the Intergovt. Working Group of [our] earlier submissions to the various
drafts and revisit those outstanding comments and concerns …

[W]e insist that representative business should be at the table in the actual drafting of any such text…

Most of the critical issues raised in the revision of the second draft Treaty remain unresolved in this new version and, unfortunately, the minimal revisions introduced do not address the concerns articulated by business and many governments to date…

…Language must also clearly distinguish between State “obligations” as opposed to businesses responsibilities to comply with law and “respect” human rights…

…Defining business relationships as “any relationship” or “any other structure” is unworkable, as it is indefinite, vague, and overly broad …

… obligations only fall on companies where the law requires it or they themselves have agreed to be bound. The draft cannot therefore impose those obligations without individual State ratification and legislation. …

… There is no reason for specifically introducing collective redress instruments as claims can be filed by individuals…

…“access to information” should be tempered with an effective recognition of the vital importance of the confidential nature of certain information.

… it addresses none of the rights that a business or person should be given during a complaint against them. The presumption of innocence is a basis of law that should not be interfered with by a treaty body …

Furthermore, a specific clause is needed to give State Parties the possibility to exclude micro-companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from legally binding due diligence obligations …

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