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Raising the bar on responsible investment: what role for investment treaties?
IIED Briefing, 4 pages
The system of international investment treaties is at a crossroads. Many states are reviewing their investment treaty policies to recalibrate investment protections and reform dispute settlement arrangements. In doing so, mitigating risks to businesses while enabling states to act in the public interest have been the central concerns. Less attention has been paid to the role that treaty reform could play in addressing the risks that business activities can create for workers, landholders and the people most affected by investments. Can investment treaties promote responsible business conduct in areas such as human rights, labour relations, land rights and the environment? This briefing reviews recent treaty practice and charts possible ways forward.
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International treaties, national laws and transnational contracts define the terms of an investment and influence the distribution of its costs and benefits. To promote inclusive sustainable development, IIED works with partners to rethink these legal documents and the process through which they are formulated.
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Rethinking investment treaties, laws and contracts