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.

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Conflict, Occupation, War

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Third parties, such as transnational corporations, are contributing to conflicts, occupation and war due to the rendering of their services. Such cases range from trade in “blood diamonds” extracted from conflict situations, mining in (or any other way of profiting from occupation), child soldiers transport transported across borders/regions and many more severely affecting the enjoyment of human rights. States occupying territories are fully responsible for the fulfillment of ESCR in these territories (and – of course – to respect and protect them.)

The lack of regulation and accountability allows third parties to gain from, and in some cases even nourish, conflicts, occupations and wars. It is for this reason not just enough to call upon the parties to the conflict, occupation or war to do justice, but also upon those who have clear extraterritorial obligations (ETOs).

The Maastricht Principles 23-27 lay down that States have the obligation to protect individuals ESCRs by regulating or influencing non-state actors in case that there is a risk of human rights violations. Those companies, driven by its fiduciary duty to make profit, that directly or indirectly contribute to a conflict, occupation or war need to be regulated or influenced by the State where the corporation, or its parent or controlling company, has its centre of activity, is registered or domiciled, or has its main place of business or substantial business activities, in the State concerned.