BUSINESS: Report for UN Special Representative on state responsibilities to regulate corporate activities under CRC

[2 August 2007]


This report is part of a series examining States’ obligations in relation to corporate activity under the United Nations’ core human rights treaties.

A report summarising the main findings and trends from the treaty-specific reports was submitted to the fourth session of the Human Rights Council.

The series of reports maps the scope and content of States Parties’ responsibilities to
regulate and adjudicate the actions of business enterprises under the treaties and as
elaborated by the respective treaty bodies.

This mapping supports the work of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. The (then) United Nations Commission on Human Rights mandated the SRSG, inter alia, to: “(b) elaborate on the role of States in effectively regulating and adjudicating the role of transnational corporations and other business enterprises with regard to human rights, including through international cooperation.”

The reports analyse a representative sample of primary materials associated with each
treaty: the actual treaty provisions; General Comments or Recommendations by the
Committees; Concluding Observations on States Parties’ periodic reports; and Views on
Communications and under Early Warning Measures and Urgent Procedures.

The reports are based on references by the treaties and treaty bodies to States Parties’
duties to regulate and adjudicate corporate activities.

Executive Summary

This report outlines the nature of States Parties’ obligations vis-à-vis corporate activities
under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as well as its
Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
(OPSC), as elaborated by the Committee on the Rights of the Child (Committee).

Given that research uncovered very little commentary from the Committee in relation to
State obligations to protect against corporate abuse under the Optional Protocol on the
involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC), the Protocol has not been analysed in
detail in this report. This should not be taken as an indication that the SRSG believes the
Optional Protocol is irrelevant to the issue of business and human rights.

Indeed, the Committee has made some references to State duties to regulate arms companies and it is foreseeable that it may offer guidance in relation to other types of companies in the future, including private security companies.

Further information



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