Ruggie’s Guiding Principles unsuitable for addressing corporate human rights abuses

A formal statement, endorsed by Rights in Context and nearly 30 more organisations and movements from all over the world, distributed to all country embassies and missions in Geneva, and delivered in an oral address before the Human Rights Council, calls on members of the Council not to accept the Guiding Principles on the grounds that they are inadequate for defending human rights against corporate abuses. See, previously, here and here.

The endorsing groups request that the provision of suitable principles and the adoption of binding regulations for transnational corporation (TNC) operations should be included in a follow-up mandate by the Council.

They also suggest that the Council establish its own complaints procedure for victims of human rights violations committed by TNCs.

Human rights organisations and social movements have repeatedly drawn the attention of Mr.Ruggie, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Business and Human Rights, to the failure of the draft Guiding Principles to address the governance gaps created by globalization.

They have highlighted the absence of clear recommendations consistent with international standards in the Principles, which also fail to stress the shared obligations of home and host countries of TNCs to prevent and remedy abuses.

The formal statement emphasizes that TNCs frequently use voluntary mechanisms as public relations vehicles to disguise and distract from their actual human rights performance. The involvement of the UN in such mechanisms  is a threat to the credibility of the organisation. The draft guiding principles carry similar risks when they rely on voluntary action by business rather than on binding international and national regulations enforced by States.

Source: FIAN

K. C.


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