Campaigning for a binding treaty to fight corporate power

© Oren Ziv/

In today’s globalised economy, transnational corporations have amassed tremendous amounts of wealth and power. In the process, transnational corporations have violated human rights, committed crimes and destroyed the environment with complete impunity. The profit margin of corporations has come at the expense of communities, workers and territories in the global South and increasingly in the global North.

National legislation has proven ineffective when dealing with corporations that carry out their activities abroad, hiding behind complex corporate structures and intermediaries to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. Most states are powerless when confronted with major economic and political entities more powerful than they are; and whose interests are protected by multiple trade and investment agreements. At the same time, some states wilfully promote, subsidise and protect these corporations.

Social movements and international organisations have long advocated for binding norms at the international level to protect the rights of frontline communities and end the impunity of big business. In 2014, a historic process towards establishing such binding legislation took off in the UN Human Rights Council, establishing an open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights.

Since then, War on Want has supported The Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity, a network of over 200 social movements, networks, organisations and affected communities resisting the land grabs, extractive mining, exploitative wages and environmental destruction of transnational corporations; and campaigning for a binding treaty.

Latest news

Press Release: Frontline defenders expose BHP’s role in climate breakdown

15 October 2019 - 11:15am

Unmasking BHP: frontline defenders travel to London to expose company’s greenwashing tactics and role in climate breakdown

Frontline human rights defenders travel from Latin America to the UK to share their experiences of climate breakdown, the threat of violence and the greenwashing tactics of multinational mining company BHP

Read more

Time for constructive engagement: Statement on UN Binding Treaty

14 October 2019 - 11:15am
Today, 14 October 2019, negotiations for a UN BindingTreaty on Business and Human Rights are underway at  the UN in Geneva. War on Want together with 58 other organisations are calling on the Uk govenment and other European representatives to help deliver a treaty that ensures multinationals are held to account for human rights violations, and victims have access to justice. 
Read more

Join the conversation

TOMORROW @ 10AM: Protest for , against mega-mining! Join frontline defenders from Latin America as… 9 hours 56 min ago
This week, negotiations for a UN on are taking place . We are calling on… 14 hours 18 min ago
RT : 'Resisting Extractivism, Mega-mining and Climate Chaos in Chile.' Join to welcome and lea… 1 day 3 hours ago