Stop transnational corporations’ (TNCs) impunity

Transnational corporations (TNCs) commit crimes, violate human rights and destroy the environment with complete impunity in the Global South. National legislations are ineffective in dealing with business enterprises that carry out their activities across borders and operate through intermediaries to avoid any legal liability. And most states are powerless confronted with entities that are often richer and more powerful than they are, and whose interests are protected at the international level by a multitude of investment treaties. Only binding norms at the international level can end TNCs’ impunity.

Support our campaign at the United Nations

  • to stop the impunity of TNCs
  • to ensure TNCs respect human rights, the environment and the rights of workers, including when operating abroad
  • to improve access to justice for victims and affected communities
  • to better protect trade unions, peasants and local communities

The CETIM has long had a firm commitment to the adoption of binding international norms on transnational corporations (TNCs) to end impunity for the human rights violations that they commit. He is currently one of the leader of the campaign at the Human Rights Council, together with the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity (Global Campaign), an international network comprising over 200 social movements, organizations, trade unions and representatives of victims and affected communities from all around the world.

In June 2014, the Human Rights Council adopted by vote (20 Yes, 14 No and 13 Abs) a resolution presented by Ecuador and South Africa that created an intergovernmental working group mandated with the drafting of a legally binding instrument to regulate, within the framework of international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises.

It was a historic decision, coming after decades of discussions and fruitless attempts at the United Nations. It was to a large extent the result of the strong mobilization of social movements, in particular the CETIM, the Global Campaign and other organizations participating in the Treaty Alliance.

This initiative of the Human Rights Council can contribute to end the impunity of TNCs for the human rights violations committed, in particular in the Global South, and therefore improve in the long term and at the global level the protection and respect for human rights.

After having contributed to the opening of intergovernmental negotiations, the CETIM is now working together with the Global Campaign so that social movements, organizations, trade unions and representatives of victims and affected communities in the Global South, will be able to participate in the intergovernmental working group and make their voices and proposals heard.

The first session of the working group was held in July 2015. Click here to read the summary. And to read the proposals submitted by the Global Campaign to the working group, it is here.

The second session of the working group was held in October 2016. Read the summary here. Demonstrations were organized outside the Palais des Nations. Find a short article here. And discover the new proposals submitted by the Campaign here.

The 3rd session took place in October 2017. You can read the summary of this session here. During this session, the Global Campaign presented its own draft treaty to influence the negotiations in the Working Group. A mine of information, reflection and proposals, this document can be used by activists as well as public and elected authorities who fight against the impunity of TNCs.

The 4th session took place in October 2018. You can read a summary here. The Presidency of the Working group presented a first draft Convention. The Global Campaign submitted comments and concrete proposals to this first draft.

Transnational Corporations (TNC) and Violations of Human Rights

Following the acceptance of resolution 1998/8 of the Sub-Commission, the Europe-Third World Center (CETIM) would like to provide its first contribution to the Working Group by transmitting some reflections which would be worth to be considered within the framework of its activities. They accentuate in particular the economic, social , cultural and environmental consequences of […]

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United Nations, free Trade and Transnational Corporations

1. In his report to the General Assembly on “Entrepreneurship and privatization for economic growth and sustainable development” (A/52/428), the Secretary­General has taken an unequivocal position in favour of a single economic model, defying all historical and empirical evidence. 2. In our view, the Secretary­General has exceeded the mandate given to him by the General […]

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International Organizations, Human Rights and Business

The Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna states that democracy, development and respect for Human Rights are interdependent, mutually reinforcing concepts. It also states that democracy is based on the will of a people, freely expressed, to determine its own political, economic, social and cultural life […]

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