The zero draft was a proposed binding treaty on business and human rights that was proposed by Ecuador with the sole aim of addressing issues of prevention and remedy. This blog will reflect on all the principles established by this treat and will present this series highlight key opportunities that were proposed for an inclusive and open society.
Article 1. Preamble
The State Parties to this Convention,
- Stressing that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and inter-related;
- Upholding that every person has the right to equal and effective access to justice and remedies in case of risk or harm decisive for the enjoyment of their rights;
- Recognizing the rules of international law and international human rights law with respect to the international responsibility of States;
- Stressing that the obligations and primary responsibility to promote, respect protect and fulfill human rights and fundamental freedoms lie with the State, and that States must protect against human rights abuse by third parties, including business enterprises, within their territory or otherwise under their jurisdiction or control, and ensure respect for and implementation of international human rights law;
- Recalling the UN Charter articles 55 and 56 on international cooperation, including in particular with regard to universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction of race, sex, language or religion;
- Underlining that all business enterprises, regardless of their size, sector, operational context, ownership and structure shall respect all human rights, including by avoiding causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through their own activities and addressing such impacts when they occur;
- Upholding the principles of non-discrimination, participation and inclusion, and self-determination;
- Desiring to contribute to the development of international law and international human rights law in this field;
- Pursuing the fulfillment of the mandate established by the Human Rights Council Resolution 26/9;
Article 2. Statement of purpose
The purpose of this Convention is to:
- To strengthen the respect, promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights in the context of business activities of transnational character;
- To ensure an effective access to justice and remedy to victims of human rights violations in the context of business activities of transnational character, and to prevent the occurrence of such violations;
- To advance international cooperation with a view towards fulfilling States’ obligations under international human rights law;
Article 3. Scope
- This Convention shall apply to human rights violations in the context of any business activities of a transnational character.
- This Convention shall cover all international human rights and those rights recognized under domestic law.
Article 4. Definitions
- “Victims” shall mean persons who individually or collectively alleged to have suffered harm, including physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss or substantial impairment of their human rights, including environmental rights, through acts or omissions in the context of business activities of a transnational character. Where appropriate, and in accordance with domestic law, the term “victim” also includes the immediate family or dependents of the direct victim and persons who have suffered harm in intervening to assist victims in distress or to prevent victimization.
- “Business activities of a transnational character” shall mean any for-profit economic activity, including but not limited to productive or commercial activity, undertaken by a natural or legal person, including activities undertaken by electronic means, that take place or involve actions, persons or impact in two or more national jurisdictions.
Article 5. Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction, with respect to actions brought by an individual or group of individuals, independently of their nationality or place of domicile, arising from acts or omissions that result in violations of human rights covered under this Convention, shall vest in the court of the State where:
- such acts or omissions occurred or;
- the Court of the State where the natural or legal person or association of natural or legal persons alleged to have committed the acts or omissions are domiciled.