Germany: On day of state secretary meeting, Human Rights Watch warns against weakening NAP monitoring

Author: Human Rights Watch, Published on: 3 July 2019

'Germany: Economic Ministry Pushes for Weak Company Monitoring', 3 July 2019

The German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy is trying to weaken measures that would track how well companies in the country identify and respond to possible human rights abuses in their supply chains. The coalition government should stand firm at a meeting of secretaries of state taking place today and adopt a monitoring system that holds German companies to rigorously high standards... The companies should ensure that their supply chains are free of human rights abuses from start to finish – in line with internationally recognized norms.

“The Economics Ministry is putting forward a proposal that would make it far too easy for companies to be categorized as complying with international human rights standards when they are not doing the job,” said Juliane Kippenberg, associate children’s rights director at Human Rights Watch...

Whether the government moves forward with proposing a law on supply chains depends..., in large part, on how thoroughly the government is monitoring companies’ performances... But this process has stalled, and the questionnaires have yet to be distributed because the Economic Affairs Ministry disagrees with the plan...

...Kippenberg said[:] “The government should show that respect for international human rights norms at home and abroad and Germany’s economic interests are not mutually exclusive, and that support for good practices can enhance economic growth.”

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