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Germany Seeks to Mandate Human Rights Due Diligence for Companies and Their Global Partners

Author: Jan-Ove Becker, Lavanga Wijekoon, Courtney Osborn, Michael Congiu, and Stefan Marculewicz on Littler, Published on: 25 April 2019

In February 2019, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (“Development Ministry”) introduced a draft law (the “Draft Law”) that seeks to mandate human rights due diligence for German companies and their global business partners, including suppliers.  Specifically, the Draft Law requires German companies to monitor their own operations as well as those of their global business partners to ensure they meet certain environmental and social standards, including fair working conditions. This legislative development is the latest addition to the increasing number of national laws that place obligations on certain companies to report on or conduct efforts to identify and mitigate human rights risks such as human trafficking, child labor, and other forms of forced labor from their global operations...

[C]ompanies should prepare for this law by first taking stock of their own operations and those of their suppliers and other business partners, and identifying areas in those operations where there is a high risk of forced labor and other modern slavery practices...

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