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The Voluntary Principles at 10- time to complete the work of construction, get on with the job of implementation

Author: Bennett Freeman, Institute for Human Rights and Business, Published on: 17 March 2010

As the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights plenary convenes in London this week...decisions which must be made if the Voluntary Principles (VPs) are to fulfill their potential...Three critical factors now set the stage for the VPs to deepen their impact... First, the Oslo plenary last spring finally resolved the fractious issue of “participation criteria” for governments... Second, there is a simple recognition that the VPs have greater operational relevance in more countries than ever... Third, there is an expectation that the new political leadership in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the State Department... give a decisive impetus to completing the tasks...Critical to the prospects for sustaining the VPs as an accountable and effective multi-stakeholder initiative is the adoption of some reasonable and credible form of public reporting.

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