Human rights and business – new European guidelines

Committee of Ministers Strasbourg 3 March 2016
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Human rights and business – new European guidelines

Human rights and business is the topic of a new recommendation to member States from the Council of Europe’s decision-making body, the Committee of Ministers.

Building on the 2011 UN Guiding Principles, the new Council of Europe text provides more specific guidance to assist member States in preventing and remedying human rights violations by business enterprises and insists on measures to induce business to respect human rights.

The Recommendation elaborates on access to judicial remedy, drawing on Council of Europe expertise and legal standards in the field (civil and criminal liability, reduction of judicial barriers, legal aid, collective claims...). It puts special emphasis on the additional protection needs of workers, children, indigenous people and human rights defenders.

A mid-term review of the implementation of the recommendation is foreseen within the 5 years following its adoption, a period during which good practices will be collected and shared among member States.

About the Committee of Ministers :

The Council of Europe’s decision-making body comprises the foreign ministers of all 47 member states. It is both a governmental body where national approaches to European problems are discussed on an equal footing and a forum to find collective responses to these challenges. With the Parliamentary Assembly, it is the guardian of the Council’s fundamental values, and monitors member states’ compliance with their undertakings.