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18 Mai 2023

Engagement, remedy & justice: Priorities for the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive from workers in the Global South


The proposal for a Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (‘the Directive’) seeks to ensure EU companies address human rights and environmental risks across their global value chains. Any successful business needs to engage with workers and their representatives. Not only are workers central to the functioning of the business, they are key rightsholders and social partners directly affected by corporate activities. If the Directive is to deliver on its enormous potential, workers across the EU’s global value chains must play a leading role in its development and implementation.

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (the Resource Centre) convened workers, trade unions and their civil society partners from a range of jurisdictions in the Global South to discuss the Directive and the extent to which it meets the needs of workers in EU value chains. This briefing amplifies the insights and analysis shared by workers and their representatives at workshops held in Phnom Penh (Cambodia), New Delhi (India), Nairobi (Kenya) and Kampala (Uganda) between November 2022 and April 2023. Case studies are drawn from workshop participants, as well as from the Resource Centre’s global team of researchers.

This paper lays out five priority areas, with supportive recommendations, which participants felt were most vital in ensuring meaningful due diligence legislation which promotes the rights and needs of workers in the value chains of EU companies.

The Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive should:

  1. Recognise workers in value chains as essential to due diligence processes
  2. Require due diligence across the whole value chain
  3. Drive sustainable buyer/supplier relationships
  4. Ensure workers and other rightsholders have access to protection, remedy and justice
  5. Include accompanying measures to effective implementation

Further reading

The Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive

Follow the latest news on the EU's due diligence law

Mandatory due diligence

Latest updates and analysis on due diligence legislation

Labour rights

News on labour rights and our work supporting the rights of workers in global supply chains