Negotiations of a legally binding instrument on business and human rights continue at the United Nations

During the week of October 15–19, 2018, the fourth session of the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights took place in Geneva. Representatives from over 90 states participated in the session. More than 60 international organizations, civil society representatives and other stakeholders participated as observers.

At the session, the working group completed the first reading of the zero draft of a proposed legally binding instrument. The objective of the proposed instrument is to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises. It also discussed the zero draft optional protocol annexed to the proposed instrument. Reaffirming the need to prevent and to end business-related human rights abuses, participants engaged in dialogue focusing on the content of the draft instrument.

As recommended by the chair-rapporteur, states and other stakeholders are invited to submit their comments and proposals on the drafts no later than the end of February 2019. The working group’s email address is A revised draft instrument will be prepared for further negotiation at the fifth session of the working group, which is scheduled for October 2019 in Geneva.