Finland: Civil society calls on Govt. to explore common EU approach to mandatory human rights due diligence legislation during EU Presidency

Author: European Coalition for Corporate Justice et al, Published on: 5 February 2019

We, the undersigned NGOs, are calling on the Finnish government to set an ambitious agenda for the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) at European Union (EU) level...

[T]he EU has not yet acted on its own commitment to come forward with an EU action plan on the implementation of the UNGPs. This is despite increasing recognition that business [...] can significantly damage the environment and violate human rights. In fact, an estimated 21 million people are victims of forced labor in the supply chains of global businesses. In 2017 alone, over 300 human rights defenders were murdered worldwide...

In the absence of EU leadership, several European countries have taken initiative at national level and have adopted or are currently assessing legislation that would require companies to prevent adverse human rights and environmental impacts...

Finland has a unique opportunity during its EU Presidency to ensure that business and human rights will be part of the next European Commission’s priorities, and specifically to advance the debate on the need for Human Rights Due Diligence legislation at the EU level. In particular, a High-Level Conference would allow for Member States, the EU, and other stakeholders to discuss recent legislative processes and explore the way forward for a common EU approach to mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence.

Read the full post here