News, Press Releases

Statement to the Human Rights Council in support of the initiative of a group of States for a legally binding instrument on transnational corporations

September 13, 2013

The operations of many Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises  cause the devastation of livelihoods, territories and the environment of the communities where they operate; they pursue the commodification of essential services and of nature itself. Many TNCs and other business enterprises also violate or are complicit in violations of human rights and labour rights, erode the basis of food sovereignty, pollute water sources and lands, and plunder natural resources.

The Vienna+20 CSO Conference with 140 participants was held in Vienna on June 25/26 this year to commemorate the Second World Conference on Human Rights and address current challenges for human rights. This Conference called on States to urgently develop and institute binding systems of international regulation and norms for TNCs. States have the obligation to ensure, by establishing strong legal systems of accountability for violations of rights and effective remedy and justice for all affected people, including along the supply chain. The Conference strongly urged States to hold accountable those transnational actors, TNCs and other business enterprises that violate human rights. On the occasion of the recent UN regional forum on business and human rights in Medellín more than 100 CSOs from Latin America and other regions expressed the same concerns and called for a binding instrument. Likewise during a Round Table in the European Parliament in Brussels on September 5th, governments were also urgently asked for a binding instrument to address the accountability of TNCs and end their impunity.

The undersigned social movements and civil society organisations welcome and support the initiative taken by a number of States in the Human Rights Council towards establishing an international legally binding instrument, concluded within the UN system, clarifying the human rights obligations of transnational corporations, in particular in relation to human rights violations, economic and ecological crimes, and abuses, and establishing an effective mechanism to provide remedies and access to justice for all affected people in cases where such remedies are de facto not provided in domestic jurisdictions.



FIAN International

Transnational Institute

Center of Concern

Friends of the Earth International (FoEI)

La Via Campesina

World March of Women

World Rainforest Movement – WRM

Food & Water Watch

Third World Network

CADTM International

World Forum for Alternatives

Global Social Justice

ETC Group

Transnational Migrant Platform

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

Amigos da Terra America Latina e Caribe (ATALC)

Food & Water Europe

Alianza Social Continental

Focus on the Global South

Comité de Mujeres de la Alianza Social Continental

Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) – Philippines

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) – Philippines

REDES – Uruguay

Polaris Institute – Canada

Red Mexicana de Acción frente al Libre Comercio

Ecuador Decide

Instituto Equit – Brasil

Justiça Global – Brasil

Hegoa Instituto de Estudios sobre Desarrollo y Cooperación Internacional

Friends of the Landless – Finland

ATTAC – Argentina

groundWork, Friends of the Earth – South Africa

AIDC – South Africa

Trust for Community Outreach and Education – South Africa

Democratic Left Front – South Africa

ATTAC Austria

Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement

Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.”

(CSMM) – Ecuador

Entrepueblos del Estado Español

Fronteras Comunes de Canada

Ecologistas en Acción

Col·lectiu RETS: Respostes a les Transnacionals

War on Want

Economic Justice Network of FOCCISA (Fellowship of Christian Councils of Southern


Coordinación por los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas (CODPI) del Estado español

SHALIN – Finland

Latinamerikagrupperna (SAL) – Suecia

Attac France


Comité du Forum Social Lémanique, Geneva

Consumers Association of Penang, Malaysia

Friends of the Earth Malaysia

ATTAC Portugal

Colectivo Ecologista MadreSelva – Guatemala

Unión Sindical Obrera (USO) – España

Federación Unidad Ecologica Salvadoreña UNES

Amigos da Terra Brasil

Council of Canadians

Colectivo Revuelta Verde de México

Rede Brasil sobre Instituições Financeiras Multilaterais

MiningWatch Canada/Alerta Minera Canadá

Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ)

Asociacion Raxch’ och’ Oxlaju Aj (Tierra Verde 13 Aj) – Guatemala

ILSA – Instituto Latinoamericano por una sociedad y un derecho alternativos –


Campaña de Afectadas por Repsol

Ongd AFRICANDO – España



SOMO, Centre for Research on Multinationals from the Netherlands

Organic Agriculture Association – Albania

Centro Operacional de Vivienda y Poblamiento (Copevi) – México

Les Amis de la Terre France

FOCO – Foro Ciudadano de Participación – Argentina

Alianza Mexicana por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos (AMAP)

Movimiento Social Nicaraguense Otro Mundo es Posible

Ingeniería Sin Fronteras Asturias

Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización (ODG)

Otros Mundos AC/Amigos de la Tierra México

Coordinadora Asturiana de ONGD – Spain

Centro de Documentación e Información Bolivia (CEDIB)

Monitoring Sustainability of Globalisation (MSN)

Ekologistak Martxan (Euskal Herria/Basque Country)

Ecosistemas de Chile



KRuHA (People’s Coalition for the Rights to Water)

Kilusang Maralita sa Kanayuna (KILOS KA)


Unión Universal Desarrollo Solidario

Democracy Center

Friends of the Earth – England, Wales and Northern Ireland

JA! Justiça Ambiental/FOE Mozambique

France Amérique Latine

Fundación Solon – Bolivia

Observatorio de Multinacionales en América Latina

Red de Educación Popular entre Mujeres Latinoamerica y Caribe REPEM-LAC

Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo

Coordinadora Andina de Organizaciones Indígenas – CAOI

Terra de Direitos – Brazil

European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) – Europe

Conectas Direitos Humanos – Brazil

Network for Transformative Social Protection in Asia (NTSP)

Red WIDE PLUS (Mujeres y desarrollo en Europa)

Welthaus Diözese Graz-Seckau – Austria

VCÖ – Mobilität mit Zukunft – Austria

Center for Encounter and active Non-Violence – Austria

Centre for Sustainable Development (CENESTA) – Iran

Österreichische Liga für Menschenrechte – Austria

Active Unemployed Austria

SÜDWIND – Austria

Housing and Land Rights Network India

Human Rights Foundation New Zealand

Frauensolidarität – Austria

Welthaus Wien – Austria

WIDE – Network for Women´s Rights and Feminist Perspectives in Development –


KULU-Women and Development – Denmark

Sociedad Economica de Amigos del Pais – Cuba

Fresh Eyes – UK

FIAN Austria

ÖBV – La Via Campesina Austria

Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

DECA Equipo Pueblo – México

Espacio DESC – capitulo mexicano PIDHDD – Mexico

Inclusive Development International

IPP / UPGRADE / OUR Landlord / Egi Families in Aklaka – Nigeria


Proyecto de derechos económicos, sociales y culturales AC (ProDESC) – Mexico

Associación Ambiente y Sociedad – Colombia

Philippines Indigenous Peoples’ Links

Jus Semper Global Alliance

Equitable Cambodia

Project on Organizing, Development, Education and Research (PODER) – Americas

Citizens for Justice – Malawi

Center for Women’s Global Leadership – USA

Geneva Infant Feeding Association GIFA – Switzerland

Consulting and Research for early child development – Macedonia

Initiativ Liewensufank – Luxembourg

Pradzia – Lithuania

Borstvoeding vzw’ Belgium

Mothers’ source – Ukraine

IBFAN-ICDC, Malaysia

IBFAN Italia – Italy


Germanwatch – Germany

Urgewald – Germany

Women and Mothers against Violence, IBFAN Bulgaria

African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies – Africa

Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights – Egypt

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) – Egypt

Network on Corporate Accountability CorA – Germany

Institute for Ecology and Action Anthropology infoe – Germany

Associaçao Mama Mater – IBFAN Portugal


Plataforma española de WIDE+ (WIDE+E) – Spain

Cooperacció – Spain

Centro de Estudios e Investigación sobre Mujeres (CEIM) – Spain

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd

Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples International Centre on Policy Research and Advocacy)

Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF)

Christliche Initiative Romero – Germany