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France: 2 years after duty of vigilance law was passed, it has delivered few results, say NGOs

Author: Cécile Barbière, Euractiv, Published on: 1 March 2019

"France’s ‘Rana Plaza’ law delivers few results", 25 Feb 2019

France wants to be at the forefront of efforts to regulate multinationals’ responsibility towards workers in developing countries, but is having difficulty enforcing its own law on duty of care, according to a report published on 21 February...

[T]wo years after this pioneering law came into force, it has had poor results. French multinationals have not responded to the exercise well enough, according to an assessment by a group of NGOs...

In addition, the French government has taken little action to enforce compliance. This year is the first when legal action can be taken against those multinationals that are lagging behind.

There could be around 300 businesses established in France affected by the legislation, the report said. But “no complete list of businesses subject to the law has been published.”

Moreover, some companies affected by the law still have not published monitoring plans...

The NGOs’ broad analysis noted major shortcomings in the 80 monitoring plans published between March and December 2018...

A further criticism in the report was that most of the plans did not specify the scope, notably with regard to suppliers and sub-contractors. There were also no details on high-risk projects or how to avoid such risks... [refers to Lactalis, Crédit agricole, Zara, H&M, Decathlon and Orano] 

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Related companies: Crédit Agricole Décathlon H&M Inditex Lactalis Orano (formerly Areva) Zara (part of Inditex)