European civil society organizations call for support of the UN Treaty on transnational corporations

Vienna, 8th of March 2018 – In September 2012 over 5 years ago 254 workers lost their lives and another 55 were injured in the Ali Enterprises Fire Inferno in Karachi, Pakistan sewing our clothes we are wearing daily. In April 2013 in an even more tragic catastrophe 1135 mainly women workers were killed and over 2400 injured when the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Till today the corporations that produced their clothes in these factories could not be held accountable.

“It is high time for a binding treaty to hold corporations accountable to human rights”, says Stefan Grasgruber-Kerl from the Austrian Human rights organisation Südwind

Today the UN Human Rights Council discusses the report of the working group on a binding UN-Treaty on transnational corporations and other business enterprises (TNCs and OBEs).

Südwind and SuSY consortium (26 partners from 23 European countries) together with a coalition of NGOs and trade unions welcome the discussion on elements of a Treaty and call for further support of the negotiations from the European Union and its Member States. In its policy paper “Maximizing dignity through social and solidarity economy” the SuSY Partnership also elaborates how Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) sets standards for the private sector acting in respect of human rights and dignity.

“It is a historic opportunity. We can really act for upholding human rights before high profit”, says Grasgruber-Kerl, referring to the written contribution to the 37th session of UN Human Rights Council submitted by Südwind.

With its consortium of 26 partners from 23 European countries, the SuSY project, co-funded by EuropeAid funds, has been mapping and bridging initiatives of the Social and Solidarity Economy and conducting detailed researches on the SSE ecosystem at the Member States level. The project, with research, mapping, training and awareness activities, aims to promote alternative production and distribution methods, different consumption and saving models starting from the best practices of the SSE identified in Europe and in the rest of the world.

Further information

FB: @solidarityeconomy Twitter: @susyproject

Elisa Delvecchio (international project coordinator), e-mail, tel. +39 051 546600
Nora Niemetz (Austrian project coordinator), e-mail, tel. +43 732 79 56 64 1

This press release has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union and Austrian Development Cooperation. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Cospe and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.