The first session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIWG) on transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises with respect to human rights might go unnoticed for many people around the world who suffers abuses from TNCs.
But what is actually at stake this week in Geneva is of crucial importance for all humans caring about our planet and the full respect of the human rights of other fellow citizens.
While a wide range of human rights violations, such as arbitrary detention, death threats, denial of freedom of association, displacements, human trafficking, torture, slavery working conditions, all kinds of discrimination, massive environmental degradation, etc. are still occurring everyday in many regions of the world, UN members are gathered this week in Geneva to discuss how to begin developing a legally binding treaty that could regulate the behaviour of TNCs and open the path for an effective access to justice for victims of human rights abuses.
Ahead of the session, CIDSE prepared this briefing note, exposing the strong demand for action from our partners on the ground and recalling the urgency of international action to protect our common home. Before the session, CIDSE members have contacted their governments to urge them to participate in a constructive way to the discussions.
During the session, CIDSE is co-organizing side-events together with FIAN International, Franciscans International, The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) and Friends of the Earth on the Impact of Transnational Corporations and Other Businesses on Grassroots Communities and on the need for International Regulation from the Perspective of Social Movements, featuring testimonies from CIDSE partners including Ximena Gonzalez of Tierra Digna in Colombia and Pablo Sanchez from GRUFIDES in Peru. Other CIDSE partners coming to Geneva, from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Honduras, Indonesia, MalaysiaPhilippines, Peru, Thailand and South Africa will participate in the effort to expose the financial, political and judicial power asymmetries between multinational corporations and affected communities, and help move forward the discussions on ways forward for a binding treaty.
For more in-depth information from the discussions taking place in Geneva, you can see the Treaty Alliance website and also the EECJ website.
Denise Auclair, CIDSE Senior Policy Advisor
IGWG side events Geneva July 2015
Written statement to OEIWG First Session July 2015