Recommendation CM Rec(2016)3 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) to Member States on Human Rights & Business

The Committee of Ministers is the executive unit of the Council of Europe (CoE), composed of diplomatic representatives, with the status of ambassador, from the 47 Member States.

The Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)3 was drawn up by the CDDH (Steering Committee for Human Rights) composed by representatives of the Member States and CoE personnel and including Jean-Bernard MARIE, who represents the INGO Conference and belongs to our Working Group in the Human Rights Committee Human Rights, Codevelopment & Migrations, which I coordinate and which was introduced by the accredited international NGO European Network Church on the Move¹ to which I belong.

The CM document contains 70 voluntary recommendations that the Council of Europe sends to the Governments of its Member States with the suggestion they incorporate them totally or partially in their legislations.


The official languages of the Council of Europe are English & French. As a Spanish citizen, I requested an official Spanish translation from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Cooperation (MAEC). I was informed that funds for translations were not available but they were transferring the contents of the Document to the Ministry of Commerce & Competitivity and thence to Business organizations. The document of the Council of Europe requires a much larger participation by all the relevant stakeholders such as NGOs, trades unions, etc., so I translated it myself with the assistance of Ms. Beatriz Collantes of the CoE Expert Council, sent a copy to the MAEC, am distribuing it to Spanish civil society and Publish What You Pay, internationally.

In my Spanish translation, on the recommendation of Ms. Collantes, I have applied gender distinctions missing from the original French & English versions. I also add below an index of the 70 recommendations.

The CM/Rec(2016)3 Recommendation has taken over 3 years work by the Steering Committee for Human Rights. We support the Recommendation since it coincides with the aims of our Working Group, namely that if industrial companies benefit local populations by protecting their Human, Social & Environmental Rights, there will be economic benefits for all parties and a reduction of emigration for survival.

See Internet connection for the complete text in French :
(Click on Language for the English version. Note that my Spanish translation is just of the 70 recommendations not of all the 22 pages)

See also the Council of Europe press communiqué in French:
Note : This text is also available in English, German, Italian and Russian.


Eight major chapters with several subheadings

Introduction: General references and recommendation to the Member States governments to involve all Stakeholders in state organisms, corporative associations, trades uniones, NGOs, etc..

I.          Implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
a.         General measures (1-9)
b.         National Action Plans (10-12)
II.         The State duty to protect human rights (13-19)
III.        State action to enable corporate responsibility to respect human rights (20-30)
IV.        Access to remedy
a.         Access to judicial mechanisms (31)
i.          Civil liability for business-related human rights abuses (32-43)
ii.         Criminal or equivalent liability for business-related human rights abuses (44-46)
iii.        Administrative remedies (47-48)
b.         Access to non-judicial mechanisms (49-54)
c.         General measures (55-57)
V.         Additional protection of workers (58-60)
VI.        Additional protection of children (61-64)
VII.       Additional protection of indigenous peoples (65-68)
VIII.      Protection of human rights defenders (69-70)

¹European Network Church on the Move/Réseau Européen Eglises et Libertés/Europäisches Netzwerke Kirche im Aufbruch/Red Europea Iglesia por la Libertad is an NGO of mainly catholic grassroots christians that campaigns for laïcité, social justice and gender equality in the spirit of Liberation Theology. It has member and observer groups in 14 European countries and is an accredited member of the INGO Council of the Council of Europe; officially registered in France, it is a member group of Publish What You Pay, France.

12/06/2016, Hugo Castelli Eyre
European Network Church on the Move
Coordinator WG Human Rights, Codevelopment & Migrations
Unofficial Coordinator Publish What You Pay, Spain/Delegate of Redes Cristianas
+34 629 875 548