Moves to introduce a binding international human rights instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations (TNCs) have been strongly driven by social movements and civil society organizations around the world. They have long denounced corporate human rights abuses such as land grabbing, pollution of natural resources, and exploitative working conditions, as well as highlighting the lack of any meaningful binding mechanisms that provide access to justice.
Feminist groups have also strengthened the movement and addressed, amongst other things, the specific negative impacts of corporate operations on girls’ and women and other gender-related issues.
Because of their significant economic power and complex transnational structures, TNCs can avoid accountability for rights abuses affecting individuals and communities. It is this impunity which led the UN Human Rights Council to create an open-ended intergovernmental working group in 2014 with the mandate to elaborate a treaty on TNCs, other business enterprises, and human rights. FIAN International works closely with social movements and civil society organizations which have been actively involved in this process and continue to advocate for a strong binding treaty with the teeth to hold corporations and businesses accountable.
A fourth revised draft of the treaty will serve as a basis for further negotiations starting in October 2023.