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Mandatory human rights due diligence: A key issue for the road ahead

[T]he Working Group recognizes that legislative initiatives like the one proposed at the EU level are critical for speeding and scaling up business respect for human rights.

Particularly, in its report to the 2018 UN General Assembly, the Working Group highlights key features of HRDD and how key stakeholders — not least States through reinforcing legal drivers — can contribute to the scaling-up of effective HRDD.

Building out regulatory responses to business’ actual and potential impacts on human rights, is a key issue for the Working Group's ongoing efforts to develop a roadmap to advance implementation of the UNGPs in the next decade (UNGPs10+).

Working Group recommendations for legal developments in this area include the need for mandatory measures to:

  • Be based on the key expectations set out in the UNGPs.
  • Be based on meaningful and inclusive stakeholder consultations.
  • Cover all internationally recognized human rights and all types of adverse human rights impacts.
  • Apply across value chains, not just within supply chains.
  • Apply to the government as an economic actor.
  • To facilitate both vertical and horizontal policy coherence.
  • To go beyond reporting regimes and require meaningful processes and outcomes.
  • To require businesses to take measures that facilitate access to effective justice and remedy.
  • To set out clear compliance monitoring and enforcement structures and procedures that facilitate access to effective justice and remedy.

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