The Corporate Accountability Working Group of ESCR-Net has produced an excellent and throughly researched report which looks at the issue of extraterritorial human rights obligations of States as interpreted by the various United Nations human rights bodies. The report is titled Global Economy, Global Rights: A practitioners’ guide for interpreting human rights in the global economy, and it provides a detailed account of how the human rights treaty bodies of the United Nation, as well as special rapporteurs, have engaged with the issue of extraterritorial human rights obligations.
As Olivier De Schutter, a member of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, notes in his foreword:
… the UN human rights treaty bodies have accepted that States cannot ignore the fact that they may influence situations outside their borders, even in the absence of territorial control, and that with this power comes responsibility.
From a business and human rights perspective, the report finds that “[t]he vast majority of the UN treaty body references to extraterritorial issues relate to corporate accountability”. It is a must read, therefore, for those interested in how business and human rights issues are progressing at the United Nations.