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EU response to COVID-19 must focus on realising socio-economic rights & prioritise companies that respect human rights, says ENNHRI

"The EU must put economic and social rights at the heart of its economic response to COVID-19", 6 May 2020

ENNHRI, the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions, welcomes the EU’s steps to stimulate the economy and support livelihoods in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is crucial that all human rights, including economic and social rights, guide the implementation of such measures...

In particular...:

1. Criteria for the EU’s recovery fund must be guided by and aimed at realising economic and social rights...

2. Financing for COVID-19 response measures must not discriminate...

4. Implementation of the ‘Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency’ (SURE) instrument must consider informal economy workers...

5. Funding for small and medium-sized businesses should prioritise companies that respect human rights

In the implementation of the pan-European guarantee fund to support small and medium-sized businesses, the European Investment Bank and EU Member States should prioritise companies operating in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and environmental sustainability standards. To take an example from Denmark, businesses that evade taxes or pay dividends and bonuses in 2020-21 and that do not comply with human rights due diligence (domestically and in their supply and value chains) are excluded from financial support...

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