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24 Apr 2024

Clean Clothes Campaign

Compromise EU law will start holding companies accountable, 11 years after Rana Plaza collapse

On the 11th anniversary of the Rana Plaza industrial collapse which killed 1138 workers and injured thousands more, the European Parliament approved in a landmark vote the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). This law represents a first step towards global value chains free from human rights and labour abuses and environmental harm. The European Union is now the largest global market imposing mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence on large companies operating both domestically and abroad.

While the approval of the text represents a unique opportunity for workers in the garment and footwear value chains to see their rights respected, the version of the Directive approved by the Parliament is much less ambitious than the one agreed on at the end of trilogue negotiations of December 2023. In particular, the text the Parliament green-lighted today will cover only a very small proportion of EU companies, will leave out crucial parts of the value chain and contains significant gaps with regards to workers’ rights and the rights of victims...

Despite its flaws, the CSDDD marks a milestone in the fight to recognize the human rights and environmental impacts of corporate activities, and to reduce the toll the garment industry takes on workers and the environment. The Clean Clothes Campaign will continue to advocate for ambitious rules during the transposition of the law by Member States.