Support for UN treaty against abuses sought

Posted on June 03, 2014

CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS have urged the Aquino administration to support a resolution filed at the United Nations Human Rights Council that calls for the creation of an international treaty against rights abuses by multinational corporations.

In a statement, some 22 nongovernment organizations (NGOs) said they wrote to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario and Philippine Ambassador to Geneva Cecilia B. Rebong, asking the government to “demonstrate leadership and commitment to human rights at the June 2014 UN Human Rights Council session by showing support for a resolution that will seek to begin a process of developing... the first binding international legal instrument to hold corporations accountable for their human rights violations.”

The session will run from June 9-27 in Geneva, Switzerland.

At the UN Human Rights Council session last September, Ecuador proposed the adoption of a treaty on business and human rights to be concluded within the UN system. The law envisioned “would clarify the obligations of transnational corporations in the field of human rights,” and “provide for the establishment of effective remedies for victims in cases where domestic jurisdiction is clearly unable to” provide them. The proposal was supported primarily by developing countries, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Peru. -- Daryll Edisonn D. Saclag