Wednesday, 1 June 2011


CIVICUS: World Alliance of Citizen Participation has asked the international community to act on human rights abuses committed by transnational corporations as the final report of Prof John Ruggie, the UN Special Representative on Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises, was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday.
"In an increasingly globalised and interlinked world we believe that there is a real necessity for UN member states to standardise practices in relation to business compliance with human rights through the adoption of a universally binding framework," said CIVICUS UN Representative, Renate Bloem.
We remain deeply anxious about the activities of trans-national corporations and other business enterprise resulting in human rights abuses, including the right to a clean and healthy environment; access to land and natural resources; and adequate and decent standards of work, Bloem said.
In a submission, CIVICUS has referred to the "failure" of state-owned business to uphold human rights standards when operating outside their state jurisdictions. According to CIVICUS Policy Manager, Mandeep Tiwana: Professor Ruggies report fails to articulate the duty of states to regulate the overseas activities of businesses domiciled within their own jurisdiction, in accordance with the position taken by the UN Committee on Economics, Social and Cultural Rights."
"We are concerned about the role played by certain corporations in propping up or supporting undemocratic governments as we all as state actors who fail to respect the international human rights framework," Tiwana said, calling on UN member states to consider the issue in "right earnest" and enforce a human rights approach to business practices.
CIVICUS has also called for an end to the "deafening silence" in the report concerning the role of civil society in driving human rights accountability in businesses. Trade unions, non-government organsiations, charities, community foundations, religious bodies and social movements remain pivotal players in challenging the established impunity of rogue corporations" and holding them to account.
"We consider Professor Ruggie's report to be a first step towards strengthening the relationship between business practices and universal human rights," CIVICUS said." But it can be much more and need to be much more than a compilation of ideals for selective information and application by states.

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