G7 Labour Ministers announce support for internationally binding instrument on business & human rights
"Just transition: Make it work Towards decent and high quality work in a green economy", 24 May 2022
We gathered in Wolfsburg on 24 May 2022 to agree on concrete actions and joint steps towards a just transition and the creation of decent, high quality work for a green economy... Taking into account the ILO Guidelines for a just transition and the OECD policy approach for a humancentred green transition, we underscore the need for increased efforts to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement...
Ensuring Respect for Human Rights and Labour and Environmental Standards in Corporate Operations and Value Chains
16. We recognize the vital role of independent trade unions and a strong voice for workers in effective remediation and broader due diligence, yet violations of the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining remain too common. We remain deeply concerned about the increasing, unacceptable use of violence against human rights defenders, including those working on labour, land, environmental and indigenous issues. Moreover, access to justice remains challenging for many victims and survivors of severe abuses....
18. As the G7, we have a particularly important role to play in achieving better outcomes for people and planet through a smart mix of mandatory and voluntary measures including legislation, incentives and guidance for business. Implementation of the authoritative frameworks of the UN, the ILO and the OECD, including through mandatory measures, to ensure corporate due diligence and the elimination of child labour and forced labour along value chains, including such as through import bans on products made with child or forced labour, have gained traction among G7 members and at the EU level. This momentum offers an opportunity: to ensure coherence in regulatory measures taken at the national level, provide legal clarity to business, reduce compliance costs for companies and, most importantly, prevent business involvement with harms to people and planet in the frst instanc e, and enable access to effective remedy wherever they occur.
19. We strive to contribute to a global level playing feld aligned with the authoritativ e standards of the UNGPs, ILO’s MNE Declaration and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. In cooperation with relevant ministries, we are committed to working towards an international consensus on business and human rights to strengthen compliance with these standards, including through, but not limited to, mandatory measures, that
• are implementable and proportionate for businesses and provide fair competition,
• avoid the risk of legal fragmentation and competing interpretations, thereby strengthening international coherence and enhancing predictability for businesses,
• effectively protect rights-holders, in particular those at heightened risk of vulnerability or marginalization, and bear in mind the different risks that may be faced by women and men,
• provide for greater multilateral cooperation to address instances of abuse in global value chains, share information, and support effective remedy,
• encourage and facilitate a broader range of states to adopt and enforce corporate due diligence measures.
20. We will work on a coherent and coordinated G7 approach and stand ready to engage constructively in discussions at the UN and the ILO in close consultation with all relevant stakeholders to explore ideas and options for a consensus-based legally binding instrument at the international level that adds value to the existing legal and policy approaches and is implementable...