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Will there be a business and human rights treaty?

Lis Cunha looks at the prospects for an international treaty on business and human rights, which is back on the UN agenda.

After years of wrangling, the possibility is once more emerging of an international treaty on business and human rights.

Over the next few months, Ecuadorian Ambassador María Fernanda Espinosa, Chair-Rapporteur of the snappily-titled UN Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights (IGWG) is expected to publish the first draft of a treaty.

While the exact scope and content of the treaty is not yet known, stakeholders emphasise that it must be complementary to the already existing and widely applied UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) – which are voluntary yet have been endorsed by many states and businesses worldwide – and the ILO instruments.

In this blog, we consider how the negotiations over the treaty have been developing since the IGWG was established and what issues we can expect to see raised at the third IGWG session later this year in October, where the draft treaty will be discussed for the first time. Read the full blog here.


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