Policy Brief 31, October 2016

A Prospective Legally Binding Instrument on TNCs and Other Business Enterprises In Regard to Human Rights: Addressing Challenges to Access to Justice Faced by Victims

The complexity of corporate structures in the current globalized economy has shaped a number of practical and procedural hurdles that victims of human rights abuses perpetrated by transnational corporations (TNCs) face when accessing judicial mechanisms in order to seek remedy, both in home and host States where TNCs operate. Some of these legal barriers include constraints in the jurisdiction of the host State due to the lack of adequate substantive and procedural laws to achieve the enforcement of effective remedy, and other obstacles related to international judicial cooperation for the collection of evidence, information and enforcement of judicial decisions, or uncertainty about the possibility of bringing claims in the home State of TNCs.

Under these conditions, the present policy brief aims to support the efforts of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights (OEIWG) to move forward in the discussions involving human rights abuses by TNCs and other business enterprises mainly by identifying the most common legal and practical barriers that victims face when dealing with such cases and discussing some options to guarantee the rights to access to justice of victims of human rights abuses perpetrated by transnational operations of business enterprises.

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