On 3 March, after a two year negotiation process, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a set of Recommendations to its member States on Business and Human Rights.
The European Coalition for Corporate Justice, Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) participated in the process throughout, and last week welcomed the adoption in a statement.
The new document provides guidance to Council of Europe member States on the effective implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Crucially, it also fills existing gaps in this instrument by clarifying and/or elaborating some of its principles further, taking into consideration the full spectrum of member States’ international human rights obligations.
The agreement is a significant achievement and if adequately implemented, can contribute to an enhanced system of legal accountability of business enterprises involved in human rights abuses and access to effective remedy for those who suffer harm.