Global solutions to global problems: Why EU legislation and a UN instrument must be complementary
October 27th, 2021
by CIDSE, ECCHR, ECCJ, FIDH, and Friends of the Earth Europe

Too often business activities of EU and non-EU companies cause or contribute to human rights violations and environmental destruction. The forthcoming EU legislation on sustainable corporate governance is meant to tackle this issue but is not all encompassing. Regional EU legislation alone will not solve the global problem of corporate impunity.

We need an additional international binding instrument that regulates the behaviour of corporations in international human rights law. Engaging in the process for a UN Binding Treaty could close the judicial void, and avoid a complex and uneven patchwork of standards and rules.

This briefing argues that regional and global instruments are both needed and should complement each other, ensuring effective prevention and guaranteeing robust enforcement, liability and access to justice for affected people.

The briefing makes recommendations to the EU, as well as member states. While its focus is on the EU sustainable corporate governance directive, the arguments are applicable to all national and regional legislations on corporate accountability.

Photo credit: Second session of UN Treaty on TNCs and human rights, Geneva 2016. © Victor Barro/Friends of the Earth International