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SIDE EVENT to the 7th session on the UN Treaty: How can voluntary corporate approaches and a binding UN treaty on business and human rights lead to a fairer global economy?
Workers’ representatives and their trade unions have agreed on more than 300 Global Framework Agreements with transnational corporations to strengthen workers' rights along global supply chains. Also, other corporate approaches have contributed to improved working conditions.
Even if the Global Framework Agreements and other approaches have contributed to improving the global culture of co-determination in companies, there are clear limits to the agreements unions and corporate management have freely entered into, among others, as they are based on voluntary commitments. In the course of globalization, drastic violations of human and labour rights and environmental destruction in global value chains have steadily increased.
Binding regulations at national level, such as the German Supply Chain Act, and the discussions on corresponding regulations at European level are a valuable first step. Nevertheless, they require a global framework that could provide an important binding and connecting element to existing agreements between trade unions and corporate management.
For this reason, many trade unions now support a UN treaty on business and human rights that would require companies worldwide to human rights and environmental due diligence along their supply chain and would improve access to remedy for people affected by human rights violations. From October 25 to 29, 2021, the seventh round of negotiations on such a UN treaty will take place at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
In light of the negotiations, we would like to invite you to an online event with German and international trade union representatives and political decision-makers. We want to shed light on the experiences and achievements, as well as the challenges of ensuring human rights in the supply chain and discuss how a legally binding instrument could complement existing self-regulatory agreements.

Organizers: Global Policy Forum / IG Metall / IndustriALL / Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung
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