(10 July 2015) BADIL engages with the UN Working Group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights

PR/EN/100715/24

BADIL continues to engage with the UN Human Rights Council-mandated Working Group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, and lends its full support to the efforts of the Working Group in moving towards a legally-binding instrument to ensure the adherence of corporate entities to internationally-recognized human rights standards.
 
Private enterprises have a hugely significant role to play in the recognition and realization of human rights, and the benefits to such an approach are open to be enjoyed by a range of stakeholders. For instance, communities in which corporations operate are protected from exploitation; end customers can make purchases and make use of services in the knowledge that such actions are ethically sound, whilst corporations themselves can not only avoid censure and possible litigation through unlawful practices, but positively benefit from improved corporate image. At the national level, a healthy state requires a healthy economy, and a healthy economy must be built upon a solid foundation of lawful and ethical practice.
 
To this end, BADIL has, during the first session of the intergovernmental working group on transitional corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, participated in a number of panels and other fora to raise awareness of specific examples of corporate complicity in rights abuses resulting from Israel’s ongoing military occupation and exploitation of Palestinian land, and to ensure that certain key principles are kept at the forefront of the debate on business and human rights. These principles have included the obligation of states to protect human rights defenders in the course of their work, including through the implementation of legislation at national level; the obligation of corporate entities to have in place systems which identify and mitigate potential negative impacts of their actions on human rights; and the necessity of accessible judicial and non-judicial remedies to victims of rights abuses.
 
Until such measures enjoy widespread recognition and implementation, with the result that corporate practices and policies are rooted in fair and just legal frameworks, BADIL will continue its advocacy efforts in this crucial area.