This document is intended to provide an overview of the ISDS system; present leading critiques on the negative impacts of ISDS in undermining State sovereignty and the State duty to protect human rights; and highlight current State practice in disengaging with the ISDS system, revising bilateral trade agreements, and revising the ISDS system.
Public procurement – the purchase by the public sector of the goods and services it needs to carry out its functions – is a major component of the overall global economy, accounting for €1000 billion per year and on average 12% of GDP in OECD countries.
Human rights standards to which governments have signed up, such as the widely-supported UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, oblige public buyers to ensure respect for human rights in their supply chains. At the same time, the recently-adopted 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda highlight the role of government procurement as part of the transition to sustainable production and consumption.
ICAR is pleased to announce the publication of "Follow the Thread: The Need for Supply Chain Transparency in the Garment and Footwear Industry," which was developed by a coalition of 9 organizations, including ICAR.
The coalition consists of Clean Clothes Campaign, Human Rights Watch, IndustriALL Global Union, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, the International Labor Rights Forum, the International Trade Union Confederation, the Maquila Solidarity Network, UNI Global Union, and the Worker Rights Consortium.
The directory shows which organizations are generating, or will be generating, public information related to labor rights in the apparel industry. The impetus behind the directory came from a meeting that ICAR and C&A Foundation jointly hosted in October 2016, which was attended by data generating, gathering, and policy advocacy organizations. During this meeting, participants agreed that having a map of available data on labor rights in the apparel industry would help to facilitate collaboration, identify gaps in available information, and ensure that the data being produced is useful for policy advocacy organizations.
In December 2016, the United States government launched its first NAP on Responsible Business Conduct. In response, ICAR has conducted a structured assessment of the U.S. NAP, using the NAPs Checklist developed and published by ICAR and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) as part of the ICAR-DIHR NAPs Toolkit. The NAPs Checklist lays out a set of twenty-five criteria that address both the content of NAPs and the process for developing them.
On February 20, 2017, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and the German Institute for Human Rights (DIMR) hosted an expert workshop on Advancing the Business and Human Rights Agenda through the G20 and G7. In preparation for this meeting, ICAR and DIMR produced a background document on the structure and functioning of the G20, its engagement groups, and key German priorities and dates for the 2017 G20 presidency.
Each year in September, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (“ICAR”) hosts a closed meeting to discuss the current state of corporate accountability in the domestic and international arenas. The two-day event sets the stage for a united movement on these issues among leading civil society organizations from across the globe.
Download summaries of each of ICAR’s Annual Meetings:
On December 3, 2012, in conjunction with the United Nations Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) along with the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) and the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA) launched the report below by International Experts on Business and Human Rights, entitled “Human Rights Due Diligence: the Role of States.”
The International Experts commissioned include Professor Olivier De Schutter, Professor Anita Ramasastry, Mark B. Taylor and Robert C. Thompson.
The Report, edited, reviewed and endorsed by Professor Cynthia A. Williams, argues that human rights are materially relevant to corporate securities reporting and encourages the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to guide businesses in reporting material human rights information in their periodic and proxy disclosure reports.
On December 4, 2013, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) CORE, and the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) launched “The Third Pillar: Access to Judicial Remedies for Human Rights Violations by Transnational Business.” The Report was researched and written by Professor Gwynne Skinner, Professor Robert McCorquodale, Professor Olivier De Schutter, and Andie Lambe, all international experts on business and human rights.
The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) have conducted structured assessments of current National Action Plans (NAPs) on business and human rights. To date, only four countries - the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Finland - have released NAPs on business and human rights. At the same time, a number of other governments have begun the process of developing such NAPs or have publicly announced an intention to do so. As such, it is essential that the four existing NAPs be closely analyzed in terms of their content and processes in order to assess best practice and to suggest areas for improvement going forward.
The Corporate Crimes Principles were developed by a group of eminent legal experts, with the support of ICAR and Amnesty International, to encourage State actors to combat corporate crimes more effectively. They were developed following extensive global consultations with investigators, prosecutors, lawyers and civil society actors. The Principlesprovide practical guidance on issues such as: case selection, evidence collection, identifying tools, resources and strategies for effectively pursuing such cases, cross-border collaboration, and victims’ access to justice and witness protection.
The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and the Center for the Study of Law, Justice, and Society (Dejusticia) are pleased to publish an assessment of the Colombian National Action Plan (NAP) on business and human rights.
The U.S. federal government is the largest single purchaser in the global economy, with annual procurement spending that totals between $350 and $500 billion. Like other mega-consumers, it procures through global supply chains that enable large-scale production of goods to varying specifications—all at the lowest possible cost—and often in countries where rule of law and respect for human rights is weak or nonexistent. As such, the U.S. government’s global supply chains are linked to a range of human rights violations.
The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) are pleased to announce the launch of our new guidance, Human Rights Defenders in National Action Plans (NAPs) on Business and Human Rights. .
Acknowledging that human rights defenders are a particular group of rights-holders adversely affected by corporate human rights abuse in many national settings, ICAR and ISHR recognize the value in giving them additional scrutiny in the creation of a business and human rights NAP. This report provides guidance on how human rights defenders can be consulted in the development of NAPs and how their rights can be addressed through national policies on business and human rights.
Children are one third of the world’s population and play a significant and growing role in the global economy. Children interact with businesses every day, whether as workers in their factories and fields, consumers of their goods and services, members of communities in which they operate, or family members of their employees. At the same time, childhood is marked by progressive stages of development that leave children far more susceptible to negative business impact than adults.