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19 Mar 2019

MEPs & companies call for EU-level human rights due diligence legislation

MEPs and several large companies are calling for the EU to pass binding due diligence regulation for companies to address environmental and human rights impacts in supply chains.

This demand is central to a Shadow EU Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct launched by the European Parliament Working Group on Responsible Business Conduct (RBC Group) on 19 March 2019. The MEPs initiative is a reaction to the EU's failure to develop an action plan on responsible business conduct, despite a 2011 commitment from the European Commission to implement the UN Guiding Principles, and sets out the necessary steps towards ensuring a responsible and accountable European business sector.

The Shadow EU Action Plan includes proposed action points on 

  • mandatory due diligence for EU businesses & businesses operating in the EU, and
  • protecting human rights defenders.

A coalition of NGOs have welcomed news of the Shadow Action Plan, and are calling on the EU Commission to follow suit and develop an official action plan. 

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) in a consortium with Civic Consulting and LSE Consulting is currently also conducting a study for the European Commission on regulatory options to require business to undertake human rights due diligence in their supply chains. More information can be found here.

More information is available below. See here for our blog calling for stronger and more harmonized human rights due diligence requirements in the EU.