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Recommendations from the UNWG on proposed legislative initiative on EU mHRDD - letter to EU Justice Commissioner

[W]e recognize that legislative initiatives like the one proposed at the EU level are critical for speeding and scaling up business respect for human rights...

  1. The Directive should be based on the key expectations set out in the Guiding Principles...
  2. The Directive should be based on meaningful and inclusive stakeholder consultations...
  3. The Directive should cover all internationally recognized human rights and all types of adverse human rights impacts...
  4. The Directive should apply across value chains, not just within supply chains...
  5. The Directive should cover all EU undertakings [...] and non-EU (i.e. foreign) business enterprises which sell goods or services in the EU, and it should apply to both groups’ extraterritorial operations and business relationships...
  6. The Directive should apply to government as an economic actor...
  7. The Directive should facilitate both vertical and horizontal policy coherence...
  8. The Directive should go beyond reporting regimes and require meaningful processes and outcomes...
  9. The Directive should require businesses to take measures that facilitate access to effective justice and remedy...
  10. The Directive should set out clear compliance monitoring and enforcement structures and procedures that facilitate access to effective justice and remedy...

Enforcement of the Directive should draw on multiple measures, including administrative, civil, and criminal law instruments, to penalize or sanction infringements. Covered companies should be liable for harms that they, or a company they control or have the ability to control, have caused or contributed to through acts or omissions. The Directive should also establish grounds for liability when a covered company fails to engage in meaningful HRDD and when and how this might give rise to a cause of action and/or access to remedy by rights-holders.

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