Time for a treaty

October 2022 sees UN Member States meet for the 8th year to develop a UN Binding Treaty to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other businesses in international law.

The issue of binding rules on corporations for their impact on human rights and the planet has been high on the EU’s political agenda since the publication in February 2022 of the European Commission’s draft Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). Despite this, the EU has continually failed to develop a position on the UN Treaty and has not secured a mandate to negotiate on behalf of the bloc. Ireland has maintained a disappointing lukewarm position on the Treaty.

At the same time, EU and Irish companies are involved in human rights violations and environmental damage including modern slavery, land grabs, child labour, oil spills, deforestation, attacks on human rights defenders, and violence against women. A gender transformative UN Binding Treaty is urgently needed so that human rights violations and environmental harms are addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated way worldwide.

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