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USA: Discussion draft of mandatory human rights disclosure legislation introduced in US Congress

On 10 July, 2019 a discussion draft of the Corporate Human Rights Risk Assessment, Prevention, and Mitigation Act of 2019 was introduced in the US House of Representatives. This piece of legislation would require publicly listed companies that file an annual report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide critical information regarding their human rights risks and impacts to investors and consumers annually. More specifically, the introduced version of this bill would require companies to: 

  • Undertake an annual analysis to identify human rights risks and impacts in their operations and value chain;
  • Rank any risks and impacts based on their severity; and
  • Disclose the process and results of their assessment, as well as any actions the company has taken to avoid, mitigate, or remediate the identified risks or impacts.

The bill is the first in the United States to require broad scale human rights information disclosure.