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Report on first year of implementation of French duty of vigilance law finds companies must do more

"The Law on duty of vigilance of parent and outsourcing companies - Year 1 : companies must do better", February 2019

The purpose of this study is to produce a summary of the first year in which this new legislation has been implemented in France. Our general observation is that the first plans published in 2018 only very partially meet the objectives and requirements of the law, notably in terms of identifying the risk of abuse, their location, and measures put in place to prevent them...

[T]he study gives a general analysis of the vigilance plans published in order to determine the positive elements and shortfalls... [and] ... presents sectoral analyses to underline the specific challenges in sectors particularly at risk: garment, food industry, arms, weapons and extractive industries...

[I]t does not appear that French multinationals under this obligation fully recognise their legal responsibility... If the law is hardly or badly implemented, it is unrealistic to envision a reduction in violations against the environment or in which the victims are workers and populations across the world...

This is why regulation by public authorities is essential for the implementation of this law...

Now is seriously the moment to seize and comply with this obligation, which has become an international reference, but also to work for the adoption in Europe and worldwide of binding laws for all multinationals, allowing victims to finally have efficient access to justice.

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