CYIL vol. 11 (2020)
CYIL 11 (2020)
Conclusions The celebration of the 70 th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights reminds us about the key role of this treaty for the human rights protection in Europe. More than seventy years ago the drafters of the treaty were strongly inspired by the UDHR. Time has shown that the pupil surpassed his master. Although the principles envisaged in the UDHR are embraced by many monitoring bodies at both regional and the UN level, the ECHR became the strongest international treaty, which through the practice of the ECtHR, realises the ideas enshrined in the UDHR. Regarding the business and human rights debate, the key document on the subject, namely, the UNGP directly refers to the IBHR encompassing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which signifies that after more than seventy years of existence it is still topical. The conducted research on the legal standing of business entities from the perspective of the ECHR and UDHR demonstrates that although the two documents at issue have many common provisions, the position of businesses as envisaged therein is considerably different. Given the binding character of the ECHR, it is possible to presume that the standing of business entities is stronger under this treaty rather than under the UDHR. Nonetheless, to this time, the ECtHR has addressed only the rights of businesses under the ECHR and the question of their possible obligations, based on this treaty, is still subject to assumptions. Conversely, the UNGPs invites companies and states to respect the rights envisaged in the UDHR, which speak to the key role of this document on account of the human rights obligations of businesses. To sum up, it is possible to say that both, the ECHR and the UDHR are important in the Business and Human Rights debate. Although the two documents at issue have a lot of shared provisions, each of them contributed to development of the responsibility of companies in a different way. However, the ECHR is one of the rare treaties, which provides business entities with human rights. By this, it reflects both roles of businesses, the one of human rights holders and human rights obligators (those obliged to respect human rights).
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