Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights scrutinizes China on extra-territorial obligations
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights scrutinizes China regarding extra-territorial human rights obligations
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), scrutinized China regarding its extra-territorial human rights obligations under the Covenant. China is appearing before the Committee at its May of 2014 session.
The Committee has made clear that the ICESCR includes extra-territorial obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, including by regulating and otherwise holding corporations accountable to those obligations for their activities abroad.
The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights successfully intervened with a Parallel Report laying out the extra-territorial obligations under the ICESCR and requesting that the Committee include scrutiny on those obligations within the periodic review of China. The Parallel Report relies in part on the Maastricht Principles on Extra-Territorial Obligations, which provide the clearest and most comprehensive reaffirmation of extra-territorial obligations under international human rights law.
The List of Issues recently adopted by the Committee, which defines the scope of review, requires China to “provide information on measures taken, including legislation, regulations, policies and guidance, to ensure that businesses respect economic, social and cultural rights throughout their operations – including when operating abroad –, in particular in the extractives sector and in commercial operations involving the appropriation of land.”
This examination of China provides advocates the opportunity to address the issue of extra-territorial obligations and provides the Committee the opportunity to more clearly articulate the extra-territorial obligations under the ICESCR, including specifically referencing the Maastricht Principles on Extra-Territorial Obligations. To that end, the Global Initiative and the International Human Rights Clinic at Western New England University School of Law submitted additional Parallel reports related to China’s extra-territorial obligations under the ICESCR as well as factual situations involved China’s violations of those obligations.
The Global Initiative’s Parallel Report regarding the List of Issues can be found HERE
The List of Issues can be found HERE
The Global Initiative’s Parallel Report on the legal analysis for the periodic review can be found HERE
The Joint Global Initiative – International Human Rights Clinic at Western New England University School of Law factual Parallel Report can be found HERE
The Global Initiative's oral intervention can be found HERE.