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22 Apr 2021

More than 50 companies call for German draft due diligence law to be strengthened in Parliament

In a joint statement, more than 50 companies call for the German mandatory due diligence law to be strengthened in the parliamentary procedure, which started on 22 April. The Federal Cabinet had passed an official government draft of the law on 3 March.

The group of companies, which include Tchibo, Symrise, Ben & Jerry's, Weleda and many small and medium-sized enterprises, welcomes the draft proposal as a step in the right direction, but calls for improvements in key areas to bring about tangible improvements for people and planet along global value chains and ensure the law is more in line with UN and OECD standards. Key points made in the statement:

  • The German law should apply the risk-based approach of the UN Guiding Principles and OECD Guidelines consistently, and in particular ensure proactive due diligence obligations cover the full value chain.
  • The law should emphasise the rights of affected people in remediation; the statement also achnowledges that in addition to strong administrative enforcement, legal mechanisms are needed that strengthen and protect victims' rights to remedy, and welcomes the draft's inclusion of third-party standing in lawsuits.
  • The scope of a stronger law should not be limited to companies of a minimum size and should also apply to companies established outside but active on the German market.

The full statement is available below.

Business Statement (PDF)

For an effective Supply Chain Law that is closely aligned with international standards, strengthens the rights of affected people and creates a level playing field