I- The State’s Obligation to Protect Human Rights
The European Framework
8. Trade and Investment Agreements [page 18]
… Indeed, most bilateral investment agreements and a growing number of bilateral and regional trade agreements implement mechanisms for investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS). ISDS enables foreign investors to bring arbitration proceedings when they consider that host States have not complied with the terms of the original agreement. ISDS makes it possible to obtain rulings against States that do not respect their commitments (for example, due to discrimination on the basis of gender, …). In 2014, more than 600 cases were registered around the world, not including private disputes between parties whose details were kept confidential …
The National Framework
Actions Underway [page 30]
- The [Agence Française de Développement] AFD is working to reduce gender inequality in AFD-funded operations.
Footnotes: In line with its framework for crosscutting action on gender, AFD has committed to ensuring that at least 50% of operations funded in foreign countries in 2017 are graded 1 or 2 by the OECD Development Assistance Committee gender equality policy marker (with the exception of AFD funding in the form of global or sectoral budget assistance or unallocated credit lines). In 2015, 39.4% of operations met this criterion.
II- Businesses’ Responsibility to Respect Human Rights
2. Training and Information for Businesses [page 39]
… Thanks to the implementation of innovative partnerships between the public, private and nonprofit sectors, regional movements are providing information, raising awareness, offering training and supporting actions to defend and promote human rights. Regional business networks are also committed to human rights, women’s rights … These networks, which support multi-stakeholder dialogue and operations, develop tools and initiatives adapted to the needs of businesses (micro, small, medium and large enterprises) using cooperative approaches.
Footnote: See, for example, the Guide for Companies: Responding to Violence against Women, a joint publication developed by French and European actors from the public, private and non-profit sectors.
III- Access to Remedy
1. Judicial Mechanisms – At the National Level
The Jurisdiction of French Courts to Hear Criminal Matters [page 49]
… More specifically, French legislation is strict in combating human rights violations by legal entities. Under French law, it is a criminal offence for companies to engage in activities that breach …, equality laws (gender discrimination, …), …