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CALS supports Prof David Bilchitz nomination to UN Working Group

- Lee-Anne Bruce

Prof Bilchitz has our full support in his application to the UN Working Group on business and human rights

The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) wishes to register our support for Prof David Bilchitz to become the African representative to the United Nations Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

Prof Bilchitz is a professor of law at the University of Johannesburg and the Director of our partner organisation the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law (SAIFAC). He has published widely in the area of corporate accountability and human rights, co-edited two collections on business and human rights and has most recently authored Fundamental Rights and the Legal Obligations of Business.

His expertise in this area has seen Prof Bilchitz invited to provide input to the United Nations on corporate accountability generally and on the development of a legally binding instrument on business and human rights. Over the last decade, Prof Bilchitz has used his scholarship not only to advocate for such an instrument at the UN, but to provide indispensable leadership to African movements and NGOs working on issues related to business and human rights.

The Business and Human Rights programme at CALS has worked with Prof Bilchitz for several years, particularly in crafting comments annually on revised drafts of the binding treaty on business and human rights and making oral submissions at UN sessions on the treaty. He has also played a key role in making contributions to the annual regional consultations on the binding treaty that CALS would host together with other partner organisations. We count him as an extremely valuable resource and ally in the struggle to hold corporations accountable for violations in Africa.

We are pleased to note that Prof Bilchitz has been shortlisted for an interview as the African representative to the UN Working Group on business and human rights. We have no doubt that he is an excellent candidate for this position and would use his expertise to promote an African perspective on corporate accountability. 

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