Overcoming barriers to access to justice for corporate human rights abuses


As the UN continues to negotiate a Binding Treaty on Business & Human Rights, access to justice for victims of corporate human rights abuses must be a top priority. In a new advocacy paper, FIDH and three NGOs provide recommendations for Treaty provisions to address or mitigate obstacles to effective justice.

24 July 2023. The Comisión Colombiana de Juristas (CCJ), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) have published today a new advocacy paper calling for practical provisions for access to justice in the draft UN Binding Treaty on Business & Human Rights.

Since 2014, a UN Intergovernmental Working Group has been mandated to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises. This Binding Treaty aims to complement and go beyond the existing soft law standards such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. While these non-binding guidelines have helped make some progress, they have not been able to eliminate major gaps in the protection of human rights from corporate human rights abuses.

In Overcoming Barriers to Access to Justice for Corporate Human Rights Abuses, FIDH, ICJ, ECCHR and CCJ offer an overview of the different obstacles to accessing justice and remedy. Individuals and communities who have seen their rights violated by transnational corporations continue to face an unfair burden of proof, high financial costs and limited access to information that could support their claims. The new paper presents recommendations to address these issues through specific drafting language for the Treaty, alongside examples of international, regional and national good practices and laws that could guide the way forward.

A few months before the ninth session of negotiations on the Treaty begins in Geneva, it is crucial that states shaping the text make access to justice for victims their central concern.

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