Raising the bar on responsible investment: what role for investment treaties?
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.
This publication has been produced under IIED’s Legal tools for citizen empowerment project.