Moves towards a treaty

A UN BHR treaty has been in negotiation since a UN Human Rights Council resolution in 2014 called for an international legally binding instrument on transnational and other business enterprises with respect to human rights. Drafts were published in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The treaty process reflects a growing consensus on the need for governments to mandate businesses to engage in human rights due diligence.

Treaty discussions have highlighted two essential points:

  • Businesses must be accountable for human rights violations they cause or to which they contribute.
  • Individuals and groups whose human rights are violated must have access to a remedy, including through criminal or civil means.