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30 Sep 2019

Jessica Davies Plüss, Swissinfo.ch

Swiss upper house debate on proposed human rights due diligence legislation postponed

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"Why delaying debate on responsible business isn’t winning any fans", 27 Sep 2019

The long-anticipated debate in the Swiss Senate on the counterproposal to hold multinationals accountable for actions abroad was postponed indefinitely, and most certainly until after parliamentary elections on October 20.  

Senators called for more time to consider the facts and alternatives, but campaigners called the delay tactic a move in favour of big companies. 

If the Senate had agreed on a solid compromise, campaigners may have been willing to pull the initiative altogether. Florian Wettstein, director of the Institute for Business Ethics at the University of St. Gallen and member of the initiative committee, [said] that using delay tactics to undermine the initiative may ultimately backfire on lawmakers.   

“We have seen an impressive new wave of support for the initiative in recent days partly as a direct response to these tactics”...  

Swiss economic lobby groups have already been called out for misunderstanding the role of regulation. And as Wettstein outlined.., the country runs the risk of falling behind as more countries [...] push ahead with laws on human rights due diligence.

Some companies have already come out in support of the initiative, but it seems that a vote remains a ways off...