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29 Sep 2020

We Effect,
UNICEF Sweden & 25 others

Swedish mandatory due diligence campaign launched, with support from 42 companies

Why do we need a law? We know that international trade can contribute to job creation, economic opportunities, and improved living conditions for people around the world. But we also know that many workers in the value chain are working under dire conditions and with low salaries, which make it hard to cover living costs. Other serious problems include child labour, forced displacement and polluted water supplies... The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these problems... A law that requires companies to respect human rights gives affected people a possibility of compensation...

Level the playing field: Many Swedish and European companies have their operations, suppliers or business relations in countries where violations of human rights are common and labour protection is weak. Despite this, we do not have a law which regulates companies’ operations outside our borders. Companies who invest in sustainable business practices are doing so out of their free will and are forced to compete on unequal terms with companies who choose not to. This is not right – if we want to stop the race to the bottom, companies who act responsibly and invest in sustainability must be supported by clear rules and regulations and fair competition. We want a law which ensures that companies respect human rights both in Sweden and in countries where Swedish companies operate. A law which can also inspire other countries to develop their legislation in regard to human rights.

Sweden is falling behind: If Sweden wants to be known as a country that stands up for human rights, women’s rights, the rights of the child and for being a pioneer in sustainable business we need legally binding rules... Citizens and consumers are ready. Many companies are ready. Now it’s time for Swedish politicians to take action!

Business supporters include IKEA, H&M Group, Scania, Electrolux, and Tony's Chocolonely, among others.