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Center of Concern | Thu, Jan 22, 2015


In a recent speech delivered at the UN in Geneva, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See Archbishop Silvano Tomasi renewed support towards the development of a binding instrument on business and human rights.

The process to elaborate a binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights got effectively under way last June, as the Human Rights Council approved entrusting an open-ended intergovernmental working group with such project.

Addressing the Third UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, held early December 2014, Archbishop Tomasi said that “The financial crisis has demonstrated the difficulty of relying on business to voluntarily self-regulate.  In particular, weak and poor States suffer the consequences of an asymmetry in the international system where the business companies rights are backed up by hard laws and strong enforcement mechanisms while their obligations are backed up only by soft laws like voluntary guidelines.”

Center of Concern is member of the alliance of organizations promoting such binding obligations. “We have nothing against voluntary principles and voluntary mechanisms to settle disputes with companies over their human rights abuses. But one thing is to have them,” said Aldo Caliari, Director of the Center’s Rethinking Bretton Woods Project, “a different one is to say they are all that's necessary to hold companies accountable for those abuses. This, of course, we are morally bound to reject.”

CoC hosts seminar on public-private finance mechanisms for Executive Directors of World Bank and IMF

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Mon, Mar 2, 2015

CoC hosts seminar on public-private finance mechanisms for Executive Directors of World Bank and IMF


On March 6, 2015, at the International Monetary Fund Headquarters in Washington DC, Center of Concern and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung -New York will hold the fourth within a series of seminars for Executive Directors of the Bretton Woods Institutions on key issues in financing a new generation of development goals. This seminar will focus on the theme “Public Private Finance Mechanisms: Ensuring Accountability.”

Education for Justice | Wed, Feb 18, 2015

Pope Francis Recognizes Oscar Romero as Martyr

The Church has announced the expected beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated in El Salvador in 1980 in the midst of a brutal civil war. There has been great debate over the Archbishop's cause for sainthood over the decades, yet Pope Francis opened the path to canonization by declaring Romero a martyr of the faith. Read more.

Ecology and Development | Thu, Aug 7, 2014

Center's Community of Creative Voices Offers New Resource : "Wisdom of Water"

Dianna Ortiz, OSU, editor of the Center's Community of Creative Voices welcomes Sister Larraine Lauter's educational resource, a testimony of her experiences in Central America as co-founder of Water with Blessings. Sr Larraine's reflection includes guidance on teaching the necessity and joy of clean water to which she refers as "Sister Water." The full story is available through the Center's Education for Justice Project subscription, which provides access to this resource and many social justice interactive tools, prayer, and images. Photo credit: Water With Blessings


Global Women's Project | Tue, Jun 24, 2014

How is Technology Interrupting the Business Model of Human Tafficking?

According to the Economist's report on human trafficking, women suffer most severely. The report says, "victims of international trafficking are women forced into some form of prostitution." In Europe and Central and South Asia, women, often previous victims of trafficking, are expected to recruit other women. The BBC reports of USSD technology being applied to camouflage text messages and allow local authorities to locate a phone.