For Human Rights Beyond Borders

Human Rights have been locked up behind domestic bars to prevent their universal application to globalization and its much needed regulation. Extraterritorial obligations (ETOs) unlock human rights.

Toggle Feature

UN CESCR makes recommendations on Germany ETOs

During its 64th session, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) reviewed the 6th periodic report of Germany. In its concluding observations, the CESCR made several recommendations pertaining to Germany’s ETOs.

The Committee is concerned at the exclusively voluntary nature of the corporate due diligence obligations set out in the German National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights regarding respect for human rights and the lack of monitoring mechanisms in this regard (para. 7). The Committee therefore recommends Germany to adopt a normative framework as to ensure that all companies domiciled in the country or under its jurisdiction can be liable for their human rights abuses and violations in their operations abroad (para. 8).

Furthermore, the Committee manifests also its concern at the practical obstacles impeding access to justice in Germany to those affected abroad by corporate human rights abuses (para. 9). Consequently, the Committee recommends Germany to take measures to guarantee that the victims of human rights abuses by companies domiciled in Germany or under Germany’s jurisdiction have access to effective remedies and compensation in Germany (para. 10).

Finally, the Committee refers to Germany’s obligations as member of the International Monetary Fund and the European Stability Mechanism, and regrets it did not ensure that conditions set to borrowing States under such international financial institutions do not jeopardize the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights (para. 16). For this reason, the Committee recommends Germany to ensure that loan-related conditions do not lead to violations of human rights (para. 17). Moreover, the Committee additionally recommends that Germany ensure that, as member of such financial institutions, they carry out human rights impact assessment prior to the provision of the loan (para. 17).