GENEVA (SWITZERLAND) 16 June 2015 – Human rights and environmental rights campaigners attending the UN Human Rights Council, UNHRC, gathering June 15 to July 3 in Geneva [1] are calling on the Council to deliver effective human rights protections.

Activists from the ‘Treaty Alliance’, a growing global alliance of civil society groups, including Friends of the Earth International, are campaigning for a binding international treaty to prevent and remedy corporate human rights abuses. [2]

The existing voluntary guidelines don’t provide access to justice and remedy for victims of corporate abuse, according to Friends of the Earth international. A legally binding system is needed to put human rights above corporate privileges and impunity provided by ‘free trade’ regimes and investor rights.

During the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014, an ‘open-ended intergovernmental working group on a legally binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights,’ was established with the mandate to ‘elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises’ (res 26/9).

This intergovernmental working group will meet for its first session in Geneva, on July 6-10, 2015. [3]

Campaigners from Friends of the Earth International and other civil society organisations will also observe this first session and will be available for comment.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT IN GENEVA:

Alberto Villarreal, Friends of the Earth Uruguay trade and investment campaigner, Latin American coordinator of Economic Justice Program of Friends of the Earth International:
Tel: +41 79 42 94 275 (in Geneva from 15 to 19 June) or comerc@redes.org.uy

Anne van Schaik, Accountable Finance Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Europe, European coordinator of Economic Justice Program of Friends of the Earth International:
+31-6-24 34 39 68 or anne.vanschaik@foeeurope.org (in Geneva 17 June)

NOTES TO EDITORS

[1] For more information: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16061&LangID=E

[2] For more information: http://www.treatymovement.com/statement

[3] http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/WGTransCorp/Pages/IGWGOnTNC.aspx