For Human Rights Beyond Borders

Human Rights have been locked up behind domestic bars to prevent their universal application to globalization and its much needed regulation. Extraterritorial obligations (ETOs) unlock human rights.

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The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, in his latest report to the Human Rights Council called on States to comply with their extraterritorial obligations and consider adopting a legally binding international instrument to regulate corporations in relation to human rights.

In the report, which focuses on the exercise of the rights to peaceful assembly and association in the context of natural resource exploitation, Mr. Kiai...

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The Center for Economic and Social Rights and the Third World Network have launched a new briefing paper which highlights the relevance of States’ extraterritorial obligations in the context of the Post-2015 and Financing for Development processes. “Universal Rights, Differentiated Responsibilities: Safeguarding human rights beyond borders to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” outlines how human rights can be used as normative framework for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals...

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In a hearing before the Spanish Senate Special Commission on Child Labour and Exploitation last Monday, prof. Jorge Cardona, member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), gave a presentation on States’ extraterritorial obligations in the context of child labour and exploitation. Drawing on the Committee’s General Comment No. 16 on State obligations regarding the impact of business on children’s rights, prof. Cardona outlined the measures States should take in relation to...

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In an open letter addressed to the EU Commissioner, Ms. Malmström, and Vice President, Mr. Timmermans, 45 civil society organisations and networks, among them several members of the ETO Consortium, have called on the EU to ensure transparency and civil society participation in the current revision of the EU Handbook for Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA). While welcoming the initiative to revise the handbook as an important step towards bringing trade and investment agreements in line...

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Human rights violations by transnational business rooted in Europe; austerity measures applied by some European States (via the EU Troika) to others to safeguard the profits of big banks; the imposition of trade and investment regimes on people and peoples (European and others); lacking human rights accountability in “development” cooperation. These are some of the burning human rights issues that do not resonate well with European countries’ human rights obligations - in particular their...

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The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has recently published a Working Paper which compiles recent pronouncements made by UN treaty bodies and Special Procedures on States’ extraterritorial obligations. The resource provides practitioners with a useful overview of how ETOs are currently being monitored and enforced at the international level by UN human rights bodies.

Read the Working Paper in our library

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The ETO Consortium has released a new publication series which seeks to illustrate and provide guidance to practitioners on how to apply ETOs and the Maastricht Principles to specific thematic areas. Authored by members of the Consortium’s topical focal groups, the first two editions explore States’ extraterritorial obligations in the context of eco-destruction and climate change and in relation to International Financial Institutions (IFIs).

The brochure “ETOs in the Context of...

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The Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), is set to scrutinize Canada regarding its extraterritorial human rights obligations under the Covenant. Canada will appear before the Committee in July 2015 for its periodic review. In preparation for this, the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights presented a Parallel Report laying out the extraterritorial obligations under the ICCPR and requesting...

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In a recent joint letter to the World Bank president, Mr. Jim Yong Kim, 28 UN human rights experts, most of them Special Rapporteurs, criticized the retrogressive measures taken by the World Bank in the context of its environmental and social policies, also known as Safeguard policies, review.

The experts noted with concern that the draft policies, which were released for public consultation in July, went out of their way ‘to avoid any meaningful reference to human rights and international...

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The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) recently published the verdict from its first session on the impact of Canadian mining in Latin America, which took place in Montreal, Canada, from May 29 to June 1, 2014. The PPT jury determined that five Canadian mining companies and the Government of Canada were responsible for multiple cases of human rights violations, including labour rights violations, denial of indigenous self-determination rights, environmental destruction, targeted assassinations,...

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