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Corporate Capture in South Asia: Cases of Resistance by Peoples’ Movements and Recommendations for a UN Binding Treaty to Regulate Corporate Activity

Organized by: ESCR-Net

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Image by Charl Folscher

Amid widespread corporate impunity and ongoing corporate capture of public decision-making spaces, members of ESCR-Net’s Corporate Accountability Working Group have come together over the past few years calling for a U.N. treaty to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

Today we see corporate capture dictating the realities of our lives, particularly the lives of communities affected by systemic injustices - including Indigenous Peoples, people impacted by impoverishment, women and oppressed nations. In particular, we continue to see multinational corporations interfere in setting public policies and presenting legislation in a way that would prioritize their profit-making over our human rights. This is done inter alia through government lobbying, manipulation of communities, revolving doors, weaponization of processes such as the ‘Investor-State Dispute Settlements’ process - and the list goes on.

These manifestations of corporate capture undermine State democracies and State sovereignty – preventing States from making progressive decisions to protect their citizens and the land. This will continue if States do not move to end the influence of corporations on decisions related to our human rights and public living. This will continue if we do not regulate corporate activities. Voluntary measures are not enough - this is our message for this event!

Session Description


In this session, several members of ESCR-Net, who are currently resisting corporate abuses or violations, will share their experiences on panel. They will share their thoughts on actions that must be taken to better protect human rights in the face of business. We envision the session will take around 90 minutes allowing for interaction and different opinions to be heard.


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