Tuesday, November 29 • 1:20pm - 2:40pm
Update on the process to elaborate a legally binding instrument on business and human rights, in light of the outcomes of the 8th session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group of the Human Rights Council established by Resolution 26/9

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Interpretation in English, French and Spanish, provided by DOCIP for Indigenous Peoples

Organized by the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations at Geneva
 (Chair-Rapporteur of the OEIGWG)
Brief description of the session:
The open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIGWG) on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights was established by HRC Resolution 26/9 of June 2014, with the concrete mandate “to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises”.
Since 2015, the Working Group has held eight sessions, with increasing participation by States and other relevant stakeholders taking part in the discussions and deliberations. In the last 5 years, the process has incorporated a pragmatic, balanced, inclusive, and progressive approach in complete synergy with other existing frameworks.
Significant progress has been achieved in this process. It is possible to improve victims' access to justice and effective remedy through binding regulations that complement and reinforce voluntary norms such as the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and other non-binding international standards proposed by the ILO and the OECD.
However, further work is still required to define the fundamental aspects to adopt an inclusive and balanced legally binding instrument. Broad and active participation of all the actors, particularly of States, is necessary to enrich the process with their vision and contributions and to build on and achieve consensus.
Key objectives of the session:
  • Facilitate the stock-taking and lesson-sharing between governments and other relevant actors, on how binding and non-binding measures could complement and reinforce each other, in light of the conclusions of the 8th session of the Working Group and the recommendations of the Chair-Rapporteur, and the concrete recent legal developments, trends, and good practices in preventing and addressing business-related human rights abuses.
  • Explore the opportunities provided by the LBI to make concrete progress towards the protection of human rights in the context of business activities, improve accountability, provide justice and effective remedies for victims, and strengthen the complementary implementation of the UNGPs.
Key questions:
  • Which are the main elements that the future LBI should include in its provisions to promote and facilitate respect and protection of human rights in the context of business activities?
  • In terms of the process, how States and all relevant stakeholders could contribute constructively to build consensus around the draft text of the LBI?

Background to the discussion:
Ecuador, in its capacity of Chair-Rapporteur of the OEIGWG, submitted the Zero Draft of the LBI in 2018, the Revised Draft (Rev.1) in 2019, the Second Revised Draft (Rev.2) in 2020, and the Third Revised Draft (Rev.3) in 2021. The Rev.3 sought to further align its provisions with existing instruments and frameworks, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the ILO Tripartite Declaration on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, and other relevant ILO instruments, as well as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, among others, under a pragmatic and progressive approach.
The 3rd revised draft of the legally binding instrument presented to the 7th session, with the addition of the compilation of the concrete textual proposals submitted by States in that session, was the basis for the discussions during the 8th session, held in October 2022. Additionally, the Chair-Rapporteur presented an informal contribution on some specific articles of the text to help advance discussions and facilitate negotiations. The Chair-Rapporteur outlined the inter-sessional steps to advance the work on the elaboration of the LBI in the Recommendations of the 8th session.
The report and documents of the 8th and previous sessions can be found at https://bit.ly/3GjWUCW

avatar for Nathalie Stadelmann

Nathalie Stadelmann

Human Rights Officer, UN Human Rights Geneva
I am human rights officer at UN Human Rights in Geneva. I work on business and human rights issues, and serve as the project coordinator of the B-Tech Project – a UN Human Rights flagship initiative aimed at increasing the use of the UNGPs in the tech industry and  at embedding... Read More →

avatar for Alejandro Dávalos

Alejandro Dávalos

Deputy Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the UN in Geneva, on behalf of the Chair-Rapporteur of the OEIGWG, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the UN in Geneva, Chargé d’Affaires, on behalf of the Chair-Rapporteur of the OEIGWG on TNCs and OBEs
Alejandro Dávalos is a career member of the Ecuadorian Foreign Service with the rank of Minister. He is currently serving as Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations in Geneva (2018-present).Mr. Dávalos served as Vice Minister of... Read More →
avatar for Wolfgang Bindseil

Wolfgang Bindseil

Head of Division, Business and Human Rights, German Foreign Office
Wolfgang Bindseil is Head of the Division Business and Human Rights in the German Foreign Office since October 2020.On his previous post, he served as Head of Division for Humanitarian Assistance (2019/20), Minister-Counsellor at the German Embassy in Kyiv (2015-19), Deputy Head of... Read More →
avatar for Erika George

Erika George

Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law, University of Utah
Erika R. George is the Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law where she teaches constitutional law, international human rights law, international environmental law, and seminars on corporate citizenship and sustainability. She... Read More →

Ben Vanpeperstraete

Senior Legal Advisor, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
avatar for Virginie Rouas

Virginie Rouas

Researcher, Asser Institute
Dr. Virginie Rouas is a Researcher in Business and Human Rights and EU Environmental Law at the T.M.C. Asser Institute and a Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She holds a PhD in Law from SOAS and an LLM in Environmental... Read More →
avatar for Humberto Cantú Rivera

Humberto Cantú Rivera

Director, Instituto de Derechos Humanos y Empresas, Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM)
Humberto Cantú Rivera es Profesor titular de la Facultad de Derecho y Ciencias Sociales y Director del Instituto de Derechos Humanos y Empresas de la Universidad de Monterrey. Es Doctor en Derecho por la Universidad de París 2 Panthéon-Assas, dirige la Academia Latinoamericana... Read More →
avatar for Gayarati Khandhadai

Gayarati Khandhadai

Head of Technology and Human Rights, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
Gaya joined the Resource Centre in February 2022 as the Head of Technology and Human Rights. She is a lawyer with a background in international law and human rights, international and regional human rights mechanisms, research, and advocacy. She previously worked with national and... Read More →
avatar for Florencia S. Wegher Osci

Florencia S. Wegher Osci

Lecturer and Researcher | Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina
Lecturer and researcher in private international law at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral. Ph.D. candidate at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral.  Advisor to the Business and Human Rights Program of the Ombudsman of Argentina. Board member of the Latin American Academy on Business... Read More →
avatar for Joanne Bauer

Joanne Bauer

Co-Founder, Rights CoLab
I cofounded Rights CoLab two years ago to innovate human rights strategies in a time of closing civic space that bridge the fields of business, finance, technology, and civil society. I lead projects on integrating human rights into capital markets and on human rights-compatible models... Read More →

Tuesday November 29, 2022 1:20pm - 2:40pm CET
Room XX