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Report

Report: Case studies of alleged human rights & environmental harm linked to EU companies demonstrate need for EU due diligence laws

11 September 2020

The uncomfortable truth is that many European companies are linked to human rights abuses and environmental harm throughout their global value chains in the countries where they operate every single day, and they face few or no obstacles. A lack of strong corporate accountability laws, alongside complicated corporate structures and convoluted supply chains, make it difficult, often impossible, to hold these companies accountable.

In many of the foreign countries we have investigated, human rights abuses arise as a consequence of or are compounded by weak governance systems, and victims of corporate abuse face huge obstacles in standing up to them...

This report details a number of case studies where EU-based companies have been linked to corporate abuse and environmental harm in their global value chains and have so far managed to avoid liability before the courts. The companies which are the focus of the case studies in this report were given the right to respond. Where responses were provided, these are summarised in the report...

The case studies clearly demonstrate how EU-wide mandatory cross-sectoral human rights and environmental due diligence legislation, with a strong liability and enforcement regime and improved access to remedy rules, would make a difference in these cases...

[Note: All case studies also either pertain to (ongoing) lawsuits or cases where BHRRC previously sought a response from the company involved.]