NCHR partner provides input to UN working group on Business and Human Rights Treaty
NCHR’s partner, Executive Director of Wuhan University Institute for Human Rights Studies, Professor Zhang Wanhong, was invited to participant the Asia Pacific Virtual Consultation on Revised Draft of the Proposed Business and Human Rights Treaty on 23 June 2020.
Professor Zhang Wanhong, Wuhan University Law School (Photo: UIO)
As one of the leading experts on business and rights of vulnerable people in China, Professor Zhang Wanhong was invited to give his comments on Article 2 (statement of purpose) and Article 4 (rights of victims). Based on his expertise on disability issues, he also shared his reflections on whether Article 4 captures well the rights of vulnerable and marginalized groups.
According to Professor Zhang, a summary of recommendations with inputs received during the consultation will be submitted to the OEIGWG’s Chair-Rapporteur to inform the second revised draft. The draft is likely to be released in July 2020.
Professor Zhang and NCHR has had several academic exchanges and project cooperation in the past ten years. One of the projects in 2020 is on business and human rights.
Background for the Asia Pacific Virtual Consultation
In June 2014, the UN Human Rights Council established an open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIGWG) “to elaborate on international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.” In the report from the 5th session of the OEIGWG, the Chair-Rapporteur recommended regional and political groups, intergovernmental organizations, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and all other relevant stakeholders to organize consultations at all levels, including in particular at the regional and national level. This is with a view to exchange comments and inputs on the revised draft legally binding instrument. In line with this recommendation, an Asia Pacific virtual consultation was organized by the City University of Hong Kong and Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. The Virtual consultation was open to all academics, lawyers and civil society organization interested in discussing how to improve the revised draft of the proposed legally binding instrument.