Controlling corporations

Controlling corporations

Type: Campaign briefings
Date: 8 September 2016
Campaigns: General

The case for a UN Treaty on Transnational Corporations and Human Rights

There are over 40,000 Transnational Corporations, or TNCs, in the world. Of the 100 wealthiest governments and corporations in the world today, 69 are corporations while only 31 are governments.

The power of multinational corporations is rapidly expanding and too often big business gets away with exploiting people, disregarding human rights and destroying the environment.

The problem of unaccountable corporations is reinforced by the fact that law and law enforcement is still predominantly nationally based, while TNCs operate across borders. While corporations are able to access special forms of ‘justice’ like investor courts, entirely void of any democratic accountability, no such international mechanism exists for people who fall victim to corporate abuse. Almost all attempts to hold corporations to account at an international level are voluntary, and, therefore, unenforceable.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Countries from across the global south have come together to push for a new treaty at the United Nations (UN) that could hold transnational corporations to account for corporate abuses under international human rights law. The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is calling on governments to begin work on developing a set of legally-binding rules for transnational corporations.

Download the briefing below to learn more.

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