We, the social movements, networks and organisations from the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity, are building an international treaty that will affirm an alternative vision from the people on law and justice. We, the people, are the protagonists, political actors and originators of the laws and norms of a political, economic and legal system that will end the current framework of extraordinary privileges and impunity enjoyed by transnational corporations.
Why a treaty? The International Peoples Treaty is above all a political document that emerges from the need to fight against the regime of extraordinary privileges and impunity of transnational corporations. The existence of this regime justifies the need for binding legal norms in order to stop corporate abuses and impunity. Even though “Treaty,” according to its strict legal definition, is a term that refers to a document signed by States, our vision is that we, besides states can make law: we defend the notion of an international law “from below.” Therefore, we use the word “Treaty” in a way that is radically different from the current legal norm. What is the purpose of the Peoples Treaty (PT)? The PT’s main purpose is to defend the rights of, and empower the peoples, especially those affected by the crimes and violations of transnational corporations. As such, the process to build the document is as important as the document itself. During the PT’s elaboration process (especially the consultations and assemblies), the peoples affected in various ways by the actions of transnational corporations: 1) will constitute the PT’s main driving force. We will express our demand for binding codes for corporations and an alternative legal and economic system through the PT; 2) will strengthen ties between us as we identify how the violations we endure are not isolated events, but rather the expression of the systemic injustice of capitalism and the systematic nature of the crimes and violations committed by transnational corporations. We affirm that through this Treaty, we will address the people, States, public opinion and international institutions in order to present our proposal for an alternative legal and economic system that is radically different from the corporate regime. As such, especially considering its legal dimension with its solid and clear legal proposals, the Treaty will also serve as a reference for on-going popular pressure on States and their institutions and international organisations to implement binding norms for transnational corporations and a new legal and economic regime that fully respects the peoples’ rights. What will the structure of the Peoples Treaty look like?
- Introduction. The PT will begin with an introduction in which we analyse the architecture of extraordinary privileges and impunity that has allowed transnational corporations to commit systematic human rights violations and crimes, while we reaffirm the importance of an alternative vision on law and justice that comes from the people.
- Preamble. The preamble is where we will affirm the principles that communicate the political meaning of our vision of the world.
- Legal proposal. This is the ensemble of legal ideas that we consider necessary in order to guarantee the protection of the rights of the peoples and nature.
- Alternatives. As a complement to the presentation of legal alternatives, this section presents a series of proposals from social struggles for rights from all over the planet. These proposals express the will to build another world – one that is different from the current system shaped by the economic, political and cultural power of transnational corporations.
- the extension of a parent company’s responsibility with affiliates, suppliers and subcontractors;
- the subordination of transnational corporations to the sovereignty of host States in ways that are coherent with the right to development / buen vivir;
- the concept of interdependence, indivisibility and permeability of human rights norms;
- civil and criminal liability of the directors and executives of transnational corporations;
- direct compliance of transnational corporations with international law and criminal liability of legal persons and double indictment: transnational corporations are criminally liable for the infractions and crimes that they commit, as are the corporate directors that approve the incriminating decisions.
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