Government’s Role

David Bilchitz on a Business & Human Rights Treaty

22 December 2015

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

The idea of a treaty for business and human rights has left the confines of the academia and is now part of the global conversation wherever the issue of corporate accountability is raised.

With high-profile cases targeting a few companies in different jurisdictions and civil society frustration over the failure of making companies accountable for their adverse impacts on human rights, many human rights advocates believe that a comprehensive treaty is the most effective step forward.

David Bilchitz, who is a professor at the University of Johannesburg, on fundamental rights and constitutional law, and is director of the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional Public, Human Rights and International Law, has recently edited a volume, with Professor Surya Deva of the City University of Hong Kong, called Human Rights Obligations of Business: Beyond the Corporate Responsibility to Respect? in which several contributors have outlined the case for a treaty.

IHRB’s Salil Tripathi met Professor Bilchitz during the UN Forum in Geneva where he made the case for a treaty.

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