Human Rights in European Business – A Practical Handbook for Civil Society Organisations and Human Rights Defenders

(by Boshra Yazahmeidi) 

If you are a civil society organisation or legal professional working to defend the rights of vulnerable communities from the business practices and actions of foreign companies linked to European Union (EU) Member States, then this handbook may be of use to you.

The handbook targets its practical guidance to cases of human rights violations in  highly vulnerable communities with fragile socio-economic structures and with limited institutional support. The handbook is also helpful for communities where domestic legal and government systems are inadequate or unable to provide sufficient redress for the harm caused by a foreign corporation.

In such a scenario, an alternative option for victims is to seek remedy from outside the country where the violation has taken place, and more specifically from the EU Member States to which the foreign companies are linked.

The handbook shares information on both domestic and EU non-judicial and judicial mechanisms for redress.  As the authors state, “this handbook is intended as a diagnostic tool and a strategic guide to facilitate legal advice for the victims of abuses due to transnational companies’ activities in the global South, with a view to possible litigation in the parent company’s home jurisdictional system”.

The handbook does not recommend transnational civil litigation at any cost.  It aims to  clarify potential strategies available and their limitations.  It also warns those deciding to enter into international civil litigation to think about the potential impact this could have on the victims’ safety and image following such action.

 

The handbook can be accessed here.

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