European Parliament calls for integration of human rights in all EU policies and legally binding instrument regulating corporations

The resolution adopted on March 16, 2017 underscores the crucial role of human rights NGOs and defenders, highlighting the need for human rights and fundamental freedoms to be protected in every dimension of their expression, including in the context of new technologies. It further expresses serious concern regarding the shrinking-space of civil society and human rights defenders, including through the introduction of counter-terrorism laws. The European Parliament (EP) further underlines the importance of “promoting the universality and indivisibility of human rights, including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, in accordance with Article 21 of the Lisbon Treaty and the General Provisions on the Union’s External Action; the need to adopt a rights-based approach and to integrate respect for human rights into all EU policies, including those on trade, investment, public services, development cooperation and migration, and into its common security and defence policies; recalls the fact that internal and external coherence in the area of human rights is essential for the credibility of the EU’s human rights policy in its relations with third countries, and calls for the EU to fulfil its commitments in this regard.”

FIDH does extensive advocacy work on business and human rights, delivering valuable information echoed in the EP’s resolution which calls for the EU to work on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, encourage states to adopt national action plans and “renews its call for all states, including the EU, to be actively and constructively engaged in formulating, as soon as possible, a legally binding instrument that regulates, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises in order to prevent, investigate, redress and provide access to remedy to human rights violations whenever these occur.”

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