Human rights not negotiable

Author: | Published: 1 Jul 2009

In March 2008, the special representative of the UN Secretary General on Business and Human Rights, John Ruggie, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) published a report entitled Stabilisation Clauses and Human Rights. The UN-IFC Report has catalysed a debate about the political and legal legitimacy of stabilisation clauses and their potential impact on the promotion and protection of human rights.

Following a number of multi-stakeholder consultation meetings in 2008, convened to discuss the findings of the UN-IFC Report, Ruggie has decided to broaden and continue his work in relation to investment contracts. In particular, he hopes to respond to concerns voiced by human rights NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and other civil society groups. Principally they worry that certain provisions in investment contracts, particularly stabilisation clauses, unduly constrain governments' ability to achieve legitimate policy objectives, including implementation of international human rights obligations.

Investors, lenders and their advisors need to be sensitive...



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