3 Perth ILJ 96 (2018)
Doing Business Right: The Case for a Business and Human Rights Treaty

handle is hein.journals/pilj3 and id is 96 raw text is: 
Giorgia Papalia


   DOING BUSINESS RIGHT: THE CASE FOR A BUSINESS
                    AND HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY

                                 GIORGIA  PAPALIA*
     In recent years, there has been significant debate around the needfor a Business
     and Human   Rights Treaty under international law. However in 2018, a 'zero
     draft' of the treaty was issued by the Working Group on Business and Human
     Rights, which suggests that the arguments in favour of a treaty are gaining
     support. Arguments for such  a treaty have centered around the non-binding
     status of the instruments that currently form the international framework in
     this area, and the need for a treaty to address the gaps that this framework
     contains. While arguments  against have focused on the dfficulty of enacting
     a treaty in this area, and the perceived inappropriateness of doing so. After
     considering both sides of the debate, this article argues that the case for a
     business and  human  rights treaty is stronger than the case against it, and
     that a treaty would make  an important contribution in the effort to address
     corporate human  rights abuses.

                                I   INTRODUCTION

    The  roles and responsibilities of business in relation to protecting and promoting
human  rights have been  subject to significant discussion over the past few decades.'
While  the need  for regulation and  accountability in business practices has  been
agreed upon,  the form that such regulation should take has been  subject to debate;
many  advocate  that voluntary initiatives are sufficient,2 others argue that a binding
instrument is needed to effectively address the issue of corporate human rights abuses.3
The  culmination of this debate was the adoption of a resolution by the Human Rights
Council  in 2013 to explore the possibility of a treaty on business and human rights,'
and the issuance of a 'zero draft' treaty by the Working Group on Business and Human




Giorgia Papalia is a Juris Doctor student at UWA.
Aurora Voiculescu and Helen Yanacopulos, 'Human Rights in business contexts: An Overview' in Aurora
Voiculescu and Helen Yanacopulos (eds), The Business ofHuman Rights: An Evolving Agenda for Corporate
Responsibility (Zed Books, 2011) 1.
2 Graham Markiewicz, 'The Logical Next Step: Motivations on the Formation of a Business and Human
Rights Treaty' (2017) 26 Minnesota Journal ofInternational Law 63, 72; Ruggie, John, A UN Business and
Human Rights Treaty? (Issue Brief, Harvard Kennedy School, 2014) 3.
3 Olivier De Schutter, 'Towards a New Treaty on Business and Human Rights,' (2016) 1 Business and Human
Rights Journal 41, 43; David Bilchitz, 'The Necessity for a Business and Human Rights Treaty,' (2016) 1
Business and Human Rights Journal 203, 212.
4 Elaboration ofan International Legally Binding Instrument on Transnational Corporations and Other Busi-
ness Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights, 26th sess, A/HRC Res. 26/9 (26 June 2014), para 9.


(2018) 3 Perth International Law Journal


96

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