Multilateral Institutions (GP11)

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Multilateral Institutions (GP11)
GUIDING PRINCIPLE 11: States, when acting as members of multilateral institutions that deal with business-related issues, should:

a. Seek to ensure that those institutions neither restrain the ability of their member States to meet their duty to protect nor hinder business enterprises from respecting human rights;

b. Encourage those institutions, within their respective mandates and capacities, to promote business respect for human rights and to help States meet their duty to protect against business-related abuse, including through technical assistance, capacity building and awareness-raising;

c. Draw on the “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework to promote shared understanding and advance international cooperation in the management of business and human rights challenges.


Greater policy coherence is also needed at the international level, including where States participate in multilateral institutions that deal with business- related issues, such as international trade and financial institutions.

Capacity-building and awareness-raising through such institutions can play a vital role in helping all States to fulfill their duty to protect, including by enabling the sharing of information about challenges and best practices, thus promoting more consistent approaches.

Collective action through multilateral institutions can help level the playing field with regard to business respect for human rights, but it should do so by raising the performance of laggards.

The “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework provides a common reference point in this regard, and could serve as a useful basis for building a cumulative positive effect that takes into account the respective roles and responsibilities of all relevant stakeholders.

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posted by: Nadia Bernaz on Wednesday November 24, 2010Ratings Relevance: 4 0 Agreement: 4 0
I am glad to see this point included in the Guiding Principles as I think that this is one of the key obstacles to change at the macro level. Just like human rights considerations (and law) need to be mainstreamed at the state and company levels, such mainstreaming needs to happen as well within international organisations such as the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.

Proper leadership from a few influencial states with the view to encourage the systematic inclusion of human rights in the law and policies of these organisations could go a long way. At the moment it is almost as if we had international human rights bodies and specialised organisations on the one hand and trade and financial institutions on the other hand, operating in different worlds. This is illogical since all of these are, after all, organisations created by and made of states. They engage with them and pay for their functioning. Therefore, they must be in a position to demand that human rights law be part of the trade and financial institutions’ policies.

In short, real change in the area of business and human rights at the macro level will come through consistency in states’ positions and actions.

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posted by: najtaylordotcom on Wednesday November 24, 2010Ratings Relevance: 0 0 Agreement: 1 0
Agree wholeheartedly.

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posted by: rGrabosch on Saturday December 11, 2010Ratings Relevance: 1 0 Agreement: 1 0
A very important provision, as instutionalisation and specialisation has indeed led to a neglect of human rights aspects.

GP11 covers host States´ duty to protect human rights (GP1), but it seems to not cover home States´ responsibility to encourage business respect for human rights abroad (GP2).

Is this because the SRSG does not expect a multilateral institution to take an issue with a home State´s encouraging of “its” businesses´ respect for human rights abroad (e.g. by fines or import quotas)?

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