Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Amnesty International UK and USA's Human Rights, Trade and Investment Matters

I picked up a reference to this document at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre.

The UK and USA branches of the international human rights NGO Amnesty International released a collection of articles last month that explore the connections between trade, investment and human rights, and consider the potential for integrating human rights into trade and investment agreements.

"Amnesty International’s foray into the field of investment and human rights reflects a wider critical focus on the human rights implications of foreign direct investment from a broad spectrum of bodies ranging from the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights to research institutes, think tanks and pressure groups. Of particular concern is the ad hoc nature in which international investment rules are framed, often without reference to international human rights law, as well as the lack of transparency of application of these rules and of mechanisms for resolving disputes."

"The first section of this journal focuses on the role of financial institutions in shaping standards... The second section reveals the scope of the problem by exploring some of the connections between trade, investment and human rights... The third section explores the potential for integrating human rights into trade and investment agreements..."

"The final section focuses on the legal accountability of companies for the impacts of their investment. David Weissbrodt welcomes the decision of the UN Human Rights Commission to appoint a Special Representative on Business and Human Rights. He argues that this has created an opportunity to advance the process of developing universally recognized standards for business with an effective implementation process to ensure adherence. Peter Muchlinski examines how litigation might offer remedy to victims who bring claims against companies for human rights abuses associated with their investments. He argues that despite the constraints on both victims and their lawyers, the legal community is making significant advances towards bringing human rights into the equation of corporate liability, in particular via class action suits."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:56 pm

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