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29 Apr 2024

The Danish Institute for Human Rights

How do the pieces fit in the puzzle? Making sense of EU regulatory initiatives related to business and human rights

This publication was updated on 29 April 2024 to include:

  • Updates on existing EU regulatory initiatives;
  • The ESG Rating Regulation

This publication:

  • Provides a short summary of each of the EU regulatory initiatives;
  • Considers if and how each initiative aligns with international frameworks on business and human rights and contributes to fostering respect for human rights by business both within and outside the EU; and
  • Considers how the initiatives fit together or where this is not the case, highlighting the need for policy coherence.

The initiatives considered in this publication take a range of approaches, from placing hard bans on the importation of goods which are assessed to have been produced in a way that causes particular kinds of harm to people and planet, to softer measures designed to generate market based approaches, whether by improving company disclosures, or incentivising investment in sustainable economic activities. If crafted well, the range of initiatives in force and under development could make up an EU level “smart mix” of measures aimed at fostering business respect for human rights as envisaged in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The publication will be revised periodically to capture updates as the various measures develop.