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Mandatory Due Diligence

The growing worldwide movement to legally require companies to undertake human rights due diligence.

Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights companies have a responsibility to undertake human rights due diligence. However, almost half (46.2%) of the biggest companies in the world evaluated by the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark in 2020 failed to show any evidence of identifying or mitigating human rights issues in their supply chains. A study led by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, KnowTheChain benchmarks, or the World Benchmarking Alliance's recent Social Transformation Baseline Assessment of 1,000 of the world’s most influential companies come to similar conclusions.

There is more and more understanding that the smart mix prescribed by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights means that there needs to be legislation in order to reach the stated aims.
Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of European Parliament

There is growing momentum worldwide among governments to require companies to undertake human rights due diligence from the French Duty of Vigilance Law to the planned initiative in the European Union. Civil society across the world is seizing the opportunity for more robust requirements on companies. Major investors and companies are also speaking out in favour of such legislation.

This portal collects the latest news on mandatory human rights due diligence, national and regional developments, public company statements in support of mandatory human rights due diligence, guidance for companies and governments, and examples of company implementation of human rights due diligence. It also hosts a blog series where experts from civil society, governments and business discuss what mandatory human rights due diligence could mean for advancing human rights in business.

Featured contents

BREAKING: Reactions to release of EU Commission legislative proposal on 23 February

Follow the latest news on the EU's proposal for mandatory corporate environmental and human rights due diligence, including statements and materials from partner organisations.

More than 100 companies and investors call for effective EU corporate accountability legislation

In February 2022, investors and companies including Aviva, Danone, Ericsson, IKEA, Hapag-Lloyd and VAUDE called for effective human rights and environmental due diligence legislation, with credible accountability mechanisms including civil liability.

43 investors & companies issue statement on stakeholder engagement as a crucial aspect of EU mandatory due diligence

In November 2021, investors and companies including ACTIAM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Patagonia and Unilever called for meaningful engagement with rightsholders and civil society to be prioritised in EU legislation on mHREDD.

Closing the gap: Evidence for effective human rights due diligence from five years measuring company efforts to address forced labour

This report provides new evidence of the urgent need for voluntary action to be strengthened with robust regulatory requirements for companies to identify human rights risks and prevent abuse.

Hearing the human: Ensuring due diligence legislation effectively amplifies the voices of those affected by irresponsible business

We discussed safe and effective engagement with over 60 HRDs and developed recommendations to the European Commission, EU Parliament and Council of the EU.

Beyond social auditing: Key considerations for mandating effective due diligence

To realise its potential, regulation must drive action beyond the mechanical tick-box exercise which has characterised too many companies’ approaches to their duty of care to workers and communities.

France's Duty of Vigilance Law

Learn more about the French mandatory due diligence law, adopted in 2017, on our overview page. Includes information on the first formal notices and lawsuits filed against companies as well as key resources on the law and its implementation.

Business & human rights leaders issue joint statement on twice-delayed EU Sustainable Corporate Governance initiative

"The implications of these delays are not just administrative – they have serious consequences [for] the most vulnerable workers and communities on the planet" (December 2021).

Towards EU Mandatory Due Diligence Legislation: Perspectives from Business, Public Sector, Academia and Civil Society

Voices from around the globe explore what meaningful EU mandatory due diligence and corporate accountability legislation should look like, in this Resource Centre collation of perspectives.