Report of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises (2015)

The Report of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises addresses the rights violations and other problems that indigenous peoples face as the result of the actions of businesses and states.  The Report, which is presented annually serves as a set of recommendations for states, business enterprises, and indigenous peoples.  The latest report is from 2015. Further, while the report is not legally binding, it does illustrate how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights can clarify the roles of involved parties in addressing the problems faced by indigenous peoples.

 

Goal: The goal of the Working Group Report is to serve the following functions;

explore […] the challenges faced in addressing the adverse impacts of business-related activities on the rights of indigenous peoples through the lens of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights […]

[…] focus […] on how the Guiding Principles can bring clarity to the roles and responsibilities of States, business enterprises and indigenous peoples when addressing these impacts […]

identify […] gaps in implementation and challenges with regard to the State duty to protect against business-related human rights abuses, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and the corresponding obligations relating to access to effective remedy […]

make […] recommendations to States, business enterprises and indigenous peoples for the effective operationalization of the Guiding Principles with regard to the rights of indigenous peoples.

 

Relevant Clauses[1]

I. Introduction

2. As indigenous people face a heightened risk of overall social and economic marginalization, some are even more vulnerable to human rights abuses connected to business activities and are excluded from agreement processes and other consultations that irrevocably influence their lives […]

 

III. State duty to protect the rights of indigenous peoples

8. […] States should set out clearly the expectation that all business enterprises domiciled in their territory and/or jurisdiction respect human rights throughout their operations and, among other measures, should provide effective guidance to business enterprises on how to do so […]

 

A. Free, prior and informed consent and the State duty to protect

9. Free, prior and informed consent is a fundamental element of the rights of indigenous peoples, on which rests the ability to exercise and enjoy a number of other rights.  States have an obligation to consult and cooperate in good faith in order to obtain free, prior and informed consent before the adoption of legislation or administrative policies that affect indigenous peoples […] and the undertaking of projects that affect the rights of indigenous peoples to land, territory and resources […]

 

IV. Corporate responsibility to respect the rights of indigenous peoples

18. […] Guiding Principle 22 stipulates that, where business enterprises identify that they have caused or contributed to adverse impacts, they should provide for or cooperate in their remediation though legitimate processes […]

21. Going forward, and in line with free, prior and informed consent, good faith consultation and participation is crucial, in particular in respect of business decisions that will have a substantial impact on the rights of indigenous peoples […]

 

V. Access to effective remedy

32. Guiding Principle 25 clarifies that States must take appropriate steps to ensue, through judicial, administrative, legislative or other appropriate means, that, when business-related human rights abuses occur, those affected have access to effective remedy […]

 

H. Effectiveness of remedy and indigenous peoples

52. Furthermore, in line with the requirement of accessibility in Guiding Principle 31, remedy mechanisms should be specifically accessible to indigenous peoples, including both men and women.  Accessibility includes their physical accessibility […] It also includes linguistic, cultural and gender accessibility.           

               

 


[1]United Nations General Assembly (2013). Human Rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. Retrieved November 06, 2013, from United Nations: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N13/420/90/PDF/N1342090.pdf?OpenElement

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