Questionnaire to assist in the preparation of the report: Business and Human rights: Inter-American Standards
April 11, 2018
The Special Rapporteurship on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights invites States, civil society, and other stakeholders to answer the questionnaire and contribute any additional information for analysis as part of the preparation of the report.
Responses to this questionnaire must be submitted no later than May 14, 2018 CIDH_DESCA@oas.org
If you do not have internet access, responses may be sent to the following address:
Special Rapporteurship on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Organization of American States
1889 F Street NW, Washington DC 20006
1. INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE
The Special Rapporteurship on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights (SRESCER) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) initiates a public consultation in order to receive information for the preparation of the thematic report on "Business and Human Rights: Inter-American Standards".
It is essential to consider that, in recent years, the international community has been discussing the treatment of the growing role of national and transnational companies in human rights violations and the corresponding obligations of States in terms of prevention of and response to such problems. The Inter-American Human Rights System has not been unaware of these situations and its organs have repeatedly recognized that, under certain circumstances, a State may incur international responsibility for the attribution to that State of acts that violate human rights committed by non-state actors, which clearly includes private companies. In this context, it should be noted that, for example, in 2015 the IACHR approved a report on the obligations of States in the framework of extractive, exploitation and development activities in relation to the rights of indigenous peoples and communities of African descent.
Afterwards, the General Assembly of the OAS approved Resolution AG/RES.2887 (XLVIO/16) during the second plenary session held on June 14th, 2016, in which it requested the IACHR to conduct a study on Inter-American standards in matters of business and human rights based on an analysis of the conventions, jurisprudence and reports stemming from the Inter-American system, which may serve as an input for the efforts made by Member States in several national and international initiatives in this area.
Likewise, the Strategic Plan 2017-2021 of the IACHR identified this topic as a priority for the work of the SRESCER which was given the mandate to advance its treatment from a perspective of indivisibility To this end, the SRESCER has taken actions aimed at gathering preliminary information on the subject.
For example, it held an open consultation within the framework of the First Forum of the Inter-American Human Rights System and participated and dialogued with key stakeholders within the III Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Caribbean on business and human rights organized by the Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Santiago, Chile. It also organized a workshop on experiences, challenges and good practices on National Action Plans in the area of business and human rights as well as a regional public hearing on Business and Human Rights within the framework of the 167th Period of Sessions of the IACHR in Bogotá, Colombia.
Based on the above, and recognizing the expectations and the high regional and international interest in this matter, the IACHR has decided to gather information from different stakeholders that will serve as inputs for the preparation of the aforementioned thematic report in order to analyze and systematize the Inter-American obligations and standards on the subject, to consider the facts and regional context of the topic and to make recommendations in order to offer support to OAS Member States in the area.
Through this approach, this report aims to be a tool to create, improve and strengthen legislation and public policies throughout the continent seeking to address human rights violations committed and/or facilitated by companies as well as to clarify and develop standards on legal obligations of OAS Member States in this field.