Finnish EU Presidency urged to toughen up human rights rules on business

19/2/19 - Sharan Burrow, secretary general, ITUC, and Phil Bloomer, executive director of BHRRC

Despite the dangers, most European companies’ approach to human and labour rights remains superficial, write Phil Bloomer and Sharan Burrow.

The tragic dam collapse in Brumadinho, Brazil, on 25 January, which saw at least 150 lives lost and thousands of livelihoods destroyed, highlights the human cost of weak regulations on business operating in the global south.

Yet despite these dangers, most European companies’ approach to human and labour rights remains superficial, putting lives at risk and fuelling distrust of government and business.

The Finnish EU Presidency this year presents an opportunity to change this. A group of civil society and trade union leaders issued an open letter this week calling on the Finnish government to step up the EU’s ambition in addressing the impact of business on human rights.

The letter calls for a serious drive to require human rights due diligence from companies at an EU level – a cause gaining ground due to the weak implementation of transparency requirements on business.

Read the rest at EU Reporter.