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Opinion on the draft legally binding instrument on business and human rights

Opinion on the draft legally binding instrument on business and human rights
Date de publication : 15/10/19
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Opinion on the draft legally binding instrument on business and human rights

The CNCDH has been closely following the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council these past five years on drafting a “legally binding international instrument” in this area. It has examined the revised draft of the instrument, in line with its 2 October 2018 statement on the so-called “zero draft”.

The Commission commends the extension of the instrument’s scope to encompass all business activities – beyond solely transnational activities. It welcomes the express reference to the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the Ruggie Principles), as well as to the international human rights instruments in order to ensure consistency as regards international law. It notes the improvements made to provisions bearing on different forms of liability, but stresses the importance of more clearly distinguishing between civil, administrative and criminal liability. It commends the central role afforded to due diligence, but considers it essential to more effectively combine prevention and remedies.

Moreover, despite decisive improvements, major shortcomings remain, and these are spelled out in this opinion. The CNCDH recommends that France, in conjunction with its European partners, play a leading role during the fifth session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group.