Akãhatã & SRI Statement to the Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Transnational Corporations

Published on June 27, 2023

19 June - 14 July 2023

Interactive dialogue with the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises


Thank you, President.

Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of Akãhatã and the Sexual Rights Initiative.

We welcome the Working Group on transnational corporations’ visit to Argentina, and regret that the report is not yet available. We also regret being met with a lack of response and transparency about opportunities for national activists to engage with the Working Group during its visit, even after having sent a written submission. We urge the Working Group to take the participation of national civil society and activists more seriously in the context of its country visits.

Highlights from the press release on their visit to Argentina reflect a general trend among all countries whereby States consider unchecked operations of transnational corporations and businesses to be the best and only solution to economic crises, even at the expense of human rights.

This is a result of decades of unrestricted capitalism and dysfunctional international financial institutions that disproportionately negatively impact developing countries of the Global South. This reality is made possible by States ceding political and economic control to businesses, ineffectual and colonial international governance systems, corrupt practices, and policy capture, among other tactics.

The social and economic development that transnational corporations were supposed to bring is just a distant promise for Global South countries, as extractivism, degradation of natural resources, privatisation of public resources and violations of human rights are a palpable reality.  The consequences of these human rights violations are felt most by people already subjected to poverty, women, rural communities and Indigenous peoples. This includes risks to health and wellbeing, violent repression of protests, and even death.

In front of the power of transnational corporations, States must reject the window dressing of “social responsibility” that does nothing to mitigate the harm caused and instead strengthen national legislation, regulations, and policies to hold businesses accountable.  At the international level, we urge States, this Council and its mechanisms to support the adoption of a strong binding treaty on transnational corporations, businesses and human rights.

Thank you.