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31 Mär 2023

Amnesty International

EU: Amnesty International calls possible exemption on the use of products from Due Diligence Directive a "dangerous oversight"

"EU: Exemption on the use of products, including tools of torture, from planned EU business human rights law is a dangerous oversight", 31. March 2023

Reacting to reports that proposed EU business legislation will exempt companies from addressing the human rights risks linked to how their products are used, including arms, tools of torture or surveillance equipment, Amnesty International’s Policy Advisor on Business and Human Rights Hannah Storey said:

“This exemption would represent a dangerous oversight. Take, for example, an EU-based company selling rubber bullets to authorities with a record of firing them at peaceful protestors. Absurdly, this law as drafted, would mean that the company has to assess the human rights risks linked to the storage and transport of the bullets, but not their actual use.

“The Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive has the potential to be a ground-breaking piece of EU legislation. It could compel large companies to address the human rights and environmental impacts of their products, services, and sourcing. Yet this carve-out will effectively shelter some of the worst corporate human rights offenders in Europe. [...]

“As it stands this is a woefully missed opportunity to enact binding human rights due diligence obligations on businesses operating in the EU, and to prevent their products or services from inflicting pain and suffering. We are calling for the exemption on use to be reversed so that human rights can be protected. [...]