Holding Companies to Account: Momentum Builds for Corporate Human Rights Duties

Author: Juliane Kippenberg & Komala Ramachandra, Human Rights Watch, Published on: 15 January 2020

In 2020, you should be watching for... a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment.

Millions of adults and children around the world suffer abuses as workers... They are at the bottom of global supply chains, for everything from everyday goods like vegetables and seafood to luxury items like jewelry and designer clothing...

It’s dangerous being on the lowest rung of this global ladder...

Multinational corporations [...] have often escaped accountability when their operations have hurt workers, the surrounding communities, or the environment. And governments aligned with powerful companies have frequently failed to regulate corporate activity...

The era in which voluntary initiatives were the only way to encourage companies to respect human rights is starting to give way to the recognition that new, legally enforceable laws are needed. Although the debates vary by country, the overall trend is promising for the workers and communities that are part of multinational corporate supply chains...

In a related development, the International Labour Organization is considering whether a new binding global convention on “decent work in global supply chains” is needed, and will hold a meeting with government, trade union, and employer representatives in 2020 to explore this question...

Read the full post here