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3 Jun 2019

Finland commits to mandatory human rights due diligence at national & EU levels

The Social Democrat-led Finnish government committed to mandatory human rights due diligence at the national and EU levels in its official programme, released in June 2019.

The government’s commitment to human rights due diligence legislation resulted from a civil society national campaign which had been calling for mHRDD legislation since September 2018.

In June 2020, the government released an analysis outlining the nature of the due diligence obligations that could be imposed on companies within a legislative framework. This study explored possible regulatory options, their scope of application, supervision and sanctions.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment organised a consultation round on the content of this report in September 2020, after which it commenced a process of review.

The government commissioned further studies examining the need for a due diligence legislation. In 2021, it published a report examining the human rights performance of Finnish companies in relation to the expectations set out in the UN Guiding Principles, and in 2022 a Memorandum was released further examining the legal prerequisites to impose a due diligence law. All studies and reports are available on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment here.