So what would this commission actually do? How would it work? How likely is it? The key objectives of a UK Commission for Business, Environment & Human Rights would be to:
- provide redress for overseas victims of human rights abuses involving UK companies
- promote appropriate environmental and human rights standards for UK companies operating overseas and promulgate best practice
- work with other human rights commissions and relevant bodies to share learning and build their collective capacity to strengthen the effectiveness of redress in developing countries.
How could it work?
- Promote global and local laws, standards and best practice that are relevant to the human rights and environmental impacts of UK companies wherever they operate
- Evaluate the effectiveness of existing standards, regulations and voluntary principles applicable to the overseas operations of UK companies and, where relevant, recommend regulatory and policy reforms to the UK Government and to business
- Receive and investigate complaints against UK companies relating to their operations abroad
- Mediate between parties to facilitate conflict resolution
- Remedy harm done to people and the environment by UK companies abroad
- Sanction corporations for egregious misconduct which contravenes recognised standards
- Collaborate with relevant actors and bodies based in host countries
- Guide government on improving existing law and policy.
More information on corporate accountability from the CORE Coalition, here