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27 Aug 2020

Juliane Kippenberg, Human Rights Watch

German Economics Ministry Blocks Effective Supply Chains Law

This would have been the week: The German government had put the planned Supply Chain Act on its cabinet meeting agenda. If passed, the law would require companies to ensure that the rights of workers and communities in their supply chains are respected. But after the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) blocked the law, the cabinet postponed its debate...

The BMWi, however, is calling for a law that would apply to very few companies (only those with 5,000 or more employees) and fail to require companies to take environmental measures or hold the companies liable – it would be a toothless tiger...

The cabinet is now scheduled to meet on September 9. It is hoped that the BMWi will have changed its position by then. Passing a robust supply chains law in Germany would signal that in the world’s fourth largest economy, the human rights of people at the bottom of supply chains count.