Corporate accountability - Final Declaration/ our strategy

On 29 and 30 November, FIDH in cooperation with its member organisation in Kenya, KHRC, held a seminar on instruments for corporate accountability. The participants adopted the following Declaration.

As Human Rights Defenders, we witness in our countries some very preoccupying negative impacts of multinational corporations and other enterprises on the realization of human rights. Business-related human rights abuses take many forms.

Under certain conditions, business activities may lead to increased opportunities for workers, communities and people, however, business activities have shown they potentially affect the full range of human rights. Business can be among the main actors human rights violations, be complicit of human rights violations or benefit from violations committed by others.

Business-related human rights abuses remain largely unsanctioned and enjoy a high degree of impunity and unaccoutability and victims lack access to effective remedies at the national, regional, international level

Our aim is to prevent human rights abuses, to promote access to effective remedies for victims of human rights violations, and sanction of perpetrators of such abuses including businesses ; and to promote responsible behaviour by economic actors.

Binding international standards relating to Business and Human Rights are an important element to achieve this aim

Such standards should further clarify the obligations of States to protect human rights and thus to control multinational corporations, the responsibilities/obligations of business to respect all human rights, and guarantee the access of victims to effective remedies.

To achieve these goals, together we will also explore ways and means to :
- Increase experience sharing and strengthening capacities and awareness of all actors concerned;
- increase information-sharing on our respective activities in support of victims of TNCs practices; FIDH will propose to participants to share informations on cases and actions through an electronic platform or/and through interconnection with existing networks,
- Increase monitoring and otherwise investigating facts and responsibilities duly involving affected communities;
seek any recourse mechanisms available to victims at the national, regional and international levels;
- Further initiate litigation against corporations in our countries, be it in the country where the violation occurs or in home country of the multinational company, pending due consideration of strategic elements, and taking into account the protection of human rights defenders, and the protection and participation of affected communities;
- Join in international and regional advocacy efforts aiming at strengthening international and regional legal instruments;
- Further increase efforts in engaging with some TNCs aiming at reinforcing the opposability of international standards to those actors;
- Seek and deepen the link between Southern and Northern based NGOs, alliances between NGOs, communities and indegenous people, Trade unions, consummer groups, socially responsible investors, and promote the development of national / international platforms on corporate accountability;
- Formalising FIDH acting as focal point for its member and partner organisations in particular for international advocacy.

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