Human Rights

SouthViews No. 266, 19 June 2024

Knocking Down Business-related Human Rights Abuses with a Feather: Is the European Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive Sufficient to Tackle Corporate Impunity?

By Daniel Uribe

In April 2024, the European Parliament approved the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), aiming to ensure that European firms and their partners uphold human rights and environmental standards in their supply chains. This Directive applies to large EU and non-EU companies, with a phased implementation starting in 2027. The CSDDD mandates the integration of due diligence in corporate policies and the development of transition plans aligned with the Paris Agreement. Despite these advancements, the Directive’s scope and civil liability provisions are limited to effectively hold corporations accountable for human rights abuses. The ongoing negotiations on an International Legally Binding Instrument on Business and Human Rights offer an opportunity to adopt common standards on due diligence and jurisdiction to improve access to justice and remedies for victims of corporate-related abuses.


SC Statement – Cuba, 13 June 2024

Cuba should be immediately removed from the List of States that supposedly sponsor terrorism

South Centre Statement

13 June 2024

The United States of America Department of State maintains Cuba on a list that designates states that supposedly “sponsor” terrorism.

The South Centre notes with concern the continued inclusion of the Republic of Cuba on such a List, which identifies governments that actively support violent non-state actors involved in terrorist activities.


South Centre Inputs to the UNSG Report on Embargo Imposed against Cuba, 11 March 2024

Contribución del Centro Sur al Informe del Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas sobre la aplicación de la Resolución A/RES/78/7 de la Asamblea General sobre la “Necesidad de poner fin al bloqueo económico, comercial y financiero impuesto por los Estados Unidos de América contra Cuba”

Esta contribución del Centro Sur se presenta en respuesta a la solicitud del Secretario General como un aporte al informe del Secretario General de acuerdo a la resolución A/RES/78/7, con respecto a la imposición de medidas económicas, financieras y comerciales unilaterales por parte de los Estados Unidos de América, contra Cuba, en violación de los principios básicos de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas.


HRC55 Side-event, 14 March 2024


The new Working Group on the Rights of Peasants & Other People Working in Rural Areas: Challenges & perspectives from the field

Palais des Nations – Room XXV

14 March 2024

4-5 PM


Policy Brief 126, 23 February 2024

Leveraging ESG for promoting Responsible Investment and Human Rights

 By Danish and Daniel Uribe

The growing integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles into investment frameworks and corporate reporting reflects a heightened recognition of the interplay between business operations and human rights. This Policy Brief examines the evolution of ESG investing, particularly its role in promoting responsible investment and embedding human rights considerations throughout business practices and supply chains. While ESG frameworks hold promise for enhancing corporate accountability and sustainability, challenges persist in effectively linking ESG criteria with human rights standards. It also shows that disparities in ESG reporting criteria and methodologies, compounded by a lack of shared understanding, pose obstacles to meaningful engagement with human rights responsibilities. The Policy Brief also delineates between ESG investing and reporting, highlighting distinct objectives and practices. While ESG investing aims to mitigate financial risks associated with environmental, social, and governance factors, ESG reporting focuses on evaluating firms’ exposure to ESG risks. The Policy Brief underscores the limitations of ESG frameworks in identifying and preventing human rights impacts comprehensively, emphasising the need for complementary measures such as mandatory human rights due diligence. Finally, the paper considers the need for greater coherence and consistency in ESG frameworks to foster responsible investment, promote human rights, and advance sustainable development goals.


SC Input to OHCHR Report on Loss & Damage and Human Rights, 7 February 2024

Inputs for the analytical study on the impact of loss and damage from the adverse effects of climate change on the full enjoyment of human rights, pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 53/6 on human rights and climate change

31 January 2024

The adverse impacts of climate related loss & damage on human rights in the Global South require concrete actions. Our submission shows that a just and fair green transition requires protecting human rights while prioritizing the needs of developing countries, especially by providing climate finance, access to green tech and integrating human rights in climate actions.

See the inputs provided by South Centre to an upcoming study by the UN Secretary-General. The study will be presented to the Human Rights Council in September 2024.


SC Statement at HRC on HRs & 2030 Agenda, 18 January 2024

Statement of the South Centre at the Sixth Intersessional Meeting of the Human Rights Council on Human Rights and the 2030 Agenda

18 January 2024

Leveraging human rights in the fight against illicit financial flows and corruption through greater international tax cooperation and fiscal transparency


South Centre Report, 16 January 2024

Identifying Legal Challenges for Farmers’ Innovation

By Saurav Ghimire

On 9 October 2023, an expert workshop on “Identifying Legal Challenges for Farmers’ Innovation” was organised at the Centre for Private and Economic Law, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in collaboration with the South Centre and Université Catholique de Louvain. The hybrid event gathered experts to discuss the challenges for farmers’ innovation, particularly those emerging from regulatory regimes. The workshop brainstormed policy and regulatory hindrances to farmers’ involvement in plant breeding, namely, in access to breeding materials, access to the market and reward/protection for the innovation.

The expert workshop was organised as a part of a joint research project, “Farmers as Plant Breeders: Legal Mechanisms to Foster Farmers’ Innovation”, led by Prof. Christine Frison (Université Catholique de Louvain), Prof. Kim Van der Borght (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), and  Prof. Carlos Correa (South Centre). The research project is funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).


SC Submission to IACtHR, December 2023

Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

Solicitud de Opinión Consultiva presentada por la República de Chile y la República de Colombia

Observaciones remitidas por el Centro Sur

Diciembre de 2023

In reference to the invitation extended by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to submit amicus briefs in the matter of the Request for Advisory Opinion submitted by the Republic of Colombia and the Republic of Chile to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR or the Court) regarding the Climate Emergency and Human Rights. The South Center, an intergovernmental organization of developing countries, respectfully submits to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights the following amicus brief at the request of the Advisory Opinion submitted by the Republic of Chile and the Republic of Colombia.

These observations consider how the definition of shared and differentiated obligations and responsibilities in the legal regime related to climate change is linked to the obligations to cooperate and make reparations arising from the American Convention on Human Rights and the need to consider the right to life and survival of the most affected regions and populations in the various countries and in the region.


SC and Idec Panel During the UNCTAD e-Week, 6 December 2023

Panel During the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) e-Week

“Digital health at the crossroads of human rights, AI governance and digital trade”

Co-organized by the South Centre (SC) and the Brazilian Institute for Consumer Protection (Idec)

6 December 2023

Geneva, Switzerland


SouthViews No. 253, 27 October 2023

Harnessing Digital Technologies for Education in Developing Countries: Need for a Judicious Approach

By Kishore Singh

Digital technologies are transforming the landscape of education. New models and ways of learning, digitally supported and virtual, are emerging with rapid pace, multiplying learning pathways and diversifying learning approaches. Digital technologies are impacting education at all levels and in all its forms, and renewal of education by dint of what is termed ‘edu-tech’ has become a buzz word. Harnessing digital technologies for education is enticing for developing countries.

However, the gaze on the dazzles of digitalization must not lose sight of their down side. Considering what has been termed as ‘platform imperialism’, a cautious and critical approach is needed. “Digital divide’ is a crushing blow to the fundamental principle of equality of opportunity in education. Safeguarding education from forces of privatization and ‘edu-business’, fortified by digitalization in education, is also a daunting challenge. We must ward off against deleterious, even dehumanizing effect of digital technologies, as they can be pernicious if they are not properly controlled and regulated.



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