Can a Treaty on Business and Human Rights help Achieve Transitional Justice Goals?
Although the definition and purpose of transitional justice (TJ) does not preclude the inclusion of non-state business actors’ involvement in past authoritarian state or armed conflict violence, these types human rights violations (HRVs) are not included in formal TJ mandates. Nonetheless, in practice, TJ processes have included ad hoc measures to hold economic actors responsible for those violations. This article seeks to participate in the ongoing discussions and design of a UN-initiated proposal for a treaty on business and human rights by adding the TJ dimension. It draws on the Corporate Accountability and Transitional Justice (CATJ) data base to show that TJ initiatives have already incorporated economic actors in the investigations of past human rights abuses and how they have done so. It further explores what is missing from these processes and how a treaty on business and human rights could help fill those voids and advance victims’ rights to truth, justice, and reparations.
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