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11 Oct 2021

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


Business enterprises must… be obliged to consult with defenders under the EU initiative... Now is the time for the EU to give new life to its founding principles by delivering a strong law that could help reduce the number of lives lost in defence of human rights.
Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders

The EU’s sustainability due diligence directive offers an opportunity to prioritise environmental protection, human rights and long-term business sustainability, including the safety of human rights defenders.

To support the inclusion and safety of HRDs in the EU’s legislative initiative, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Front Line Defenders, Indigenous Peoples Rights International & ProDESC, with the support of the ALLIED coalition, held regional online workshops in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This report provides analysis and recommendations formulated on the basis of two workshops and a roundtable, including views expressed by over 60 participants from diverse civil society organisations and communities.

Further resources

Human rights defenders and civic freedoms

HRDs’ work is essential to the business and human rights movement because of their critical importance for ensuring corporate responsibility and accountability. Yet, attacks on them are growing. This hub brings together Explore news, interviews and resources on land, environmental and labour defenders working on business-related issues.

Mandatory due diligence

Latest news on mandatory human rights due diligence, national and regional developments, public company statements in support of mHRDD, guidance for companies and governments, and examples of company implementation of human rights due diligence.

Commentary: Key issues for CSDDD Trilogue negotiations

"...Taking the best definitions and provisions from the council and parliament texts should make for a strong consensus around the participation and protection of human-rights defenders..."

44 investors and companies issue statement in support of meaningful & safe stakeholder engagement as crucial aspect of EU mandatory due diligence

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

EU CSDDD: Front Line Defenders case studies highlighting the importance of preventing reprisals against HRDs

Through case studie from Colombia, India and Uganda, this briefing calls for HRDs to be included as key stakeholders. It demonstrates the need for safe and meaningful stakeholder consultations and the importance of addressing reprisals against HRDs as part of effective human rights due diligence.

ALLIED Data Working Group/International Land Coalition: "Uncovering the Hidden Iceberg"

Uncovering the Hidden Iceberg presents new data from the ALLIED Data Working Group revealing alarming patterns of attacks against indigenous peoples, land and environmental defenders.