Entrenching the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Can the Inter-American System Help?

Claret Vargas

Researcher and area coordinator in the International Section, Dejusticia 

Article previously published in Global Rights Blog

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Bauxite mining in Suriname. Photo by: Visuals Studio Brazil

It is neither a secret nor a surprise that the effects of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the GPs) have not yet been felt by the communities and individuals most affected by corporate activity.  Today, as in 2011, when the GPs were unanimously endorsed by the Human Rights Council, there are good reasons for skepticism of this non-binding instrument, and for the support of the process toward a binding treaty on Business and Human Rights, which began in 2014. Among the many critiques of the GP implementation process have been: a lack of attention to access to remedies for victims; unfair, badly designed and subpar grievance mechanisms created by corporations; State failure to regulate corporations to ensure and protect the human rights of communities that are affected by their activities; corporate resistance to provide reparations for harms they cause. The problem, as with many human rights norms, is effective implementation.

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