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Germany: Report recommends for govt. to apply due diligence requirements to human rights concerns

Author: Robert Grabosch & Christian Scheper, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Published on: 5 February 2016

"Corporate Obligations with Regard to Human Rights Due Diligence: Policy and Legal Approaches", Dec 2015

A corporate obligation with regard to human rights due diligence was introduced…with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights…Policy and legal arrangements appear necessary in order to…provide the victims of human rights violations with appropriate procedures for asserting their rights. In Germany such a development process should be launched within the framework of the current…national action plan…[A] number of due diligence measures already in use in business practice can be taken up that…have not been applied to human rights concerns…Thus a new legal regulation should make clear that companies also have to apply due diligence in the case of cross-border transactions…At the same time, minimum requirements and substantive provisions should be applied to human rights due diligence. By means of the »comply or explain« approach the principle of proportionality can be taken into account, so that the legal requirement can be applied flexibly to both large and small companies equally…

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