HRDs being interviewed by journalists


Towards a binding treaty on TNCs and OBEs regarding human rights – PI signs letter to Member States

6 June 2018

The UN Human Rights Council is currently negotiating a binding treaty for transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights. As many states oppose it, members of the Treaty Alliance and many other civil-society actors are addressing a letter to move the process forward.

Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group on a Legally Binding Instrument on TNCs and OBEs with respect to human rights- OEIGWG

June 5, 2018 – We, members of the Treaty Alliance, a broad platform of civil society organizations and social movements in support of the adoption of an international human rights treaty on transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises (OBEs), and other undersigned organizations, call on all UN Member States to engage without delay in this stage of the process in active and constructive negotiations of the substance of the treaty to improve the human rights of communities and people affected by the operations of TNCs and OBEs and their access to effective remedy, and to put an end to corporate impunity for human rights abuses.

We consider that talks among member States as well as with CSOs are key to move the process forward. We envision this work advancing along two tracks, both of extreme importance for the process: one on the content of the future Treaty and another on how the discussion will be organized (“way forward”).

To this end, we first call on States to provide substantive comments during the informal consultations which are currently taking place in Geneva and be prepared to contribute with concrete language and substantive proposals on the draft treaty once this is released as foreseen in the report of the 3rd session of the OEIGWG.

Second, to support the active and substantive engagement in the negotiations by the Member States, we emphasize the high importance of the timely release of the draft treaty to allow government delegations and other stakeholders sufficient time to prepare for the discussions. It should take into consideration the elements paper released before the third session and the oral and written contributions made during the first three sessions.

Third, in order to move forward in the second track, regarding the negotiation process, we call also on the active participation of States in bringing concrete and clear proposals to the Chair on how the programme of work on the negotiation process, including that of the upcoming 4th session, should be organized to achieve the mandate in the shortest time possible. We also call on the Chair of the IGWG to give due consideration to all those proposals and renew efforts towards a negotiated outcome.

We underline our strong commitment to the objective of establishing an international treaty. A set of binding obligations and enforcement mechanisms is the next necessary and logical step in the process that started several decades ago to ensure access to justice for affected individuals and communities and put an end to corporate impunity.


1. 11.11.11, Belgium

2. ActionAid International

3. Africa Development Interchange Network (ADIN)

4. African Law Foundation (AFRILAW), Nigeria

5. Afrikagrupperna

6. Agricultural Missions, Inc, USA


8. Alliance des Femmes Tunisienne Agriculture, Tunisie

9. Al-Haq

10. ALTSEAN-Burma

11. Ambiente, Desarrollo y Capacitación (ADC), Honduras

12. Amigos de la Tierra (FoE) América Latina y Caribe (ATALC)

13. Asamblea Veracruzana de Iniciativas y Defensa Ambiental, Mexico

14. Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development

15. Asociación de Investigación y Especialización sobre Temas Iberoamericanos (AIETI)

16. Association For Promotion Sustainable Development, India

17. Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

18. ATTAC España

19. ATTAC France

20. ATTAC Norway

21. Banana Link

22. Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI)

23. BankTrack

24. Basel Institute of Commons and Economics

25. Belgian Support Committee to the Saharawi People

26. Biowatch, South Africa

27. Brazilian Working Group for the 2030 Agenda

28. BUND / Friends of the Earth Germany

29. Burma Human Rights Network

30. Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD)

31. Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI), Sierra Leone/UK

32. CCFD – Terre Solidaire

33. Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

34. Center of Concern, USA

35. Center for Research and Documentation Chile-Latin America (FDCL)

36. Centre Europe – Tiers Monde (CETIM)

37. Centre national de coopération au développement-11.11.11 (CNCD)

38. Centro de Derechos Económicos y Sociales-CDES (Ecuador)

39. Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.” (CSMM)

40. Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS)

41. Centro de Estudios para la Justicia Social TIERRA DIGNA

42. Centro Internazionale Crocevia

43. CESTA, Amigos de la Tierra El Salvador


45. Civil society network for food security and rural Development in Cameroon (COSADER)

46. Civil Society Organization of Small Island Developing States (SIDS CSO)

47. Clean Clothes Campaign International

48. Collectif Ethique sur l’étiquette

49. Collectif Guatemala, France

50. Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida, Colombia

51. Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), Spain

52. Community Resource Centre, Thailand

53. Confederación Sindical de Trabajadores/as de las Américas (CSA)

54. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd

55. Coordination nationale de la Marche Mondiale des Femmes, Tunisie

56. CorA Network for Corporate Accountability

57. Corporación SOS Ambiental

58. Corporate Accountability International

59. Crude Accountability

60. Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)

61. Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality, Fiji

62. DKA Austria

63. Dominican Leadership Conference

64. Dominicans for Justice and Peace

65. Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF)

66. Edmund Rice International

67. Enlaces por la Sustenabilidad, El Salvador

68. Entrepueblos-Entrepobles-Entrepobos-Herriarte

69. Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia (Gender Equity: Citizenship, Work and Family), México

70. EU-LAT Network

71. ETOs Watch Coalition

72. Federation of Environmental and Ecological Diversity for Agricultural Revampment and Human Rights (FEEDAR & HR)

73. Fenntarthatóság Felé Egyesület /Towards Sustainability Association, Hungary

74. FIAN Austria

75. FIAN Belgium

76. FIAN Brazil

77. FIAN Colombia

78. FIAN Germany

79. FIAN Honduras

80. FIAN International

81. FIAN Mexico

82. FIAN Sweden

83. FIAN Switzerland

84. Focsiv, Italy

85. Foro Ciudadano de Participación por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos (FOCO)

86. Foundation for Environment and Natural Resources (FENR)

87. Franciscans International

88. Friends of the Earth Brazil

89. Friends of the Earth Europe

90. Friends of the Earth France

91. Friends of the Earth International (FOEI)

92. Fundación de Estudios para la Aplicación del Derecho (FESPAD), El Salvador

93. Fundación Etnica Integral (FEI), Republica Dominicana

94. Fundación Mexicana para la Planeación Familiar AC, MEXFAM

95. Fundación Mundubat

96. Fundación para el Desarrollo de Políticas Sustentables (FUNDEPS), Peru

97. Geneva Infant Feeding Association (GIFA)

98. Gestos, Brazil

99. Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

100. Global Justice Now

101. Global Policy Forum

102. Grupo de Estudio Sobre El Derecho Internacional Privado y los Derechos Humanos (Research Group on Private International Law and Human Rights)

103. Grupo Tacuba, Mexico

104. Homa-Human Rights and Business Centre

105. HondurasDelegation Alemania y Austria

106. Humanistas por la Salud

107. Humanitaire Plus, Togo

108. Human Rights International Corner

109. IBON International

110. ICW-CIF

111. Inclusive Development International

112. Indonesia Focal Point for Legally Binding Instrument

113. Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ)

114. Information Group on Latin America (IGLA), Austria

115. Institute for Policy Studies

116. International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN)

117. International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)

118. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

119. International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF)

120. International Presentation Association

121. International River (IR)

122. International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW –AP)

123. International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN)

124. Jamaa Resource Initiatives, Kenya

125. Justiça Ambiental / Friends of the Earth Mozambique

126. Justiça Global

127. Justice & Paix

128. KRuHA Indonesia – people’s coalition for the right to water

129. Lakeshore & Help Relief Zambia

130. La Oficina Ecuménica por la Paz y la Justicia

131. Living Law, UK

132. Lumière Synergie pour le Développement (LSD), Sénégal

133. Manushya Foundation

134. Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

135. Mekong Butterfly, Thailand

136. MIJARC Asia

137. Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

138. Mission EineWelt

139. Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB)

140. MTVSZ / Friends of the Earth Hungary

141. National Coordinating Organization for Farmers Association The Gambia (NACOFAG)

142. NeSoVe – Network Social Responsibility

143. Nigerian Women Agro Allied Farmers Association

144. NOAH, Friends of the Earth Denmark

145. Oxfam IBIS

146. Oxfam in Guatemala

147. Pacific Partnerships on Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (PPGCCSD)

148. Pax Christi International

149. Plataforma Internacional Contra la Impunidad

150. PPSS (Anti-POSCO People’s Movement)

151. Pro Ethical Trade Finland

152. Pro Natura – Friends of the Earth Switzerland

153. Protection International

154. REDES-Amigos de la Tierra Uruguay

155. Red de Educacion Popular entre Mujeres (REPEM –LAC)

156. Radha Paudel Foundation, Nepal

157. Regions Refocus

158. Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary

159. Repórter Brasil

160. Réseau Genre et Droits de la Femme (GEDROFE), République Démocratique du Congo

161. Red Internacional de Derechos Humanos (RIDH)

162. Rural Community Development Organisation, Malawi

163. Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN)

164. Servicios Ecumenicos para la Reconstruccion y Reconciliacion (SERR), USA

165. Sherpa

166. Sisters of Charity Federation

167. Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

168. Society for International Development (SID)

169. Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries

170. SOMO (Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations)

171. Spanish Development NGO Platform

172. Spirit in Education Movement (SEM)

173. Stamp Out Poverty

174. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

175. SÜDWIND e.V., Germany

176. Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA)

177. The Bretton Woods Project, UK

178. The Democracy Center

179. The Honduras Forum Switzerland

180. The Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER)

181. The Temple of Understanding

182. Third World Network

183. ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)

184. Transnational Institute (TNI)

185. Trocaire

186. Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development

187. Unanima International

188. Unión Sindical Obrera (USO), Spain

189. United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UNMGCY)

190. Urgenci International Community Supported Agriculture Network

191. Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights (UAF)

192. VIVAT International

193. War on Want

194. Welthungerhilfe

195. Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF)

196. Women’s UN Report Network (WUNRN)

197. World Association of Societies of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (WASPaLM)

198. World March of Women

199. WSM-World Solidarity

Additional signatures will follow.

photo: © Treaty Alliance