First regional consultation in Thailand, FIDH and ESCR-Net Treaty Initiative

FIDH and ESCR-Net held the first regional consultation meeting in the framework of their joint Treaty Initiative project in Chiang Mai, Thailand, between May 1st to May 3rd. Co-hosted with Asia Pacific Forum on Women (APWLD), the meeting enabled strategic discussions between Asia-Pacific civil society and grassroots groups and members of the international Expert Legal Group working together to develop concrete content proposals for a binding instrument to address corporate related human rights violations.

Exchanges and consultation with key actors from the Asia Pacific region working on the issue of business and human rights, such as representatives of affected communities, grassroots groups, advocates and academics, provided valuable real-world experiences from which to ground the development of proposals for the treaty in the lived reality of communities facing corporate related human rights violations.

The Chiang Mai consultation also aimed at building regional alliances and developing coordinated advocacy strategies by the regional CSOs present, which were tailored to this region with the broad aim of advocating for the creation and adoption robust international systems to provide accountability and remedy for affected communities.

The Asia-Pacific CSOs organisation who participated in the Chiang Mai consultation developed a unity statement presenting their demands for the legally binding treaty on business and human rights. The full list of signatories is available on APWLD’s website.

The Asia Pacific consultation will be followed by similar meetings in major regions of the world, and ongoing online consultations with greater numbers of civil society groups, with a view of ensuring that as voices and perspectives of groups around the world can be reflected in the final content proposals for a treaty on business and human rights.

FIDH and ESCR-Net’s two-year project aims to provide constructive input to the activities of the UN intergovernmental working group (IGWG) which has a mandate to elaborate a treaty related to human rights, transnational corporations and other business enterprises. The IGWG will hold its first session in Geneva between 6 – 10 July, 2015. Such project falls within the overarching work of reinforcing normative frameworks at the national, regional and international level to ensure corporate accountability for human rights abuses and access to justice for affected communities.

More information on FIDH and ESCR-NET’s joint Treaty Initiative project can be found here.

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