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Towards Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence

Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights companies have a responsibility to undertake human rights due diligence. However, 40% of the biggest companies in the world evaluated by the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark in 2018 failed to show any evidence of identifying or mitigating human rights issues in their supply chains. Until recently, legal developments have put an emphasis on promoting transparency, but there is growing momentum worldwide to require companies to undertake human rights due diligence. France was the first country to adopt such a requirement under its Duty of Vigilance law, followed by the Netherlands with due diligence focused on child labour, and now various other governments are considering legislative proposals including Austria, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. Civil society across the world is seizing the opportunity for more robust requirements on companies. Many companies and investors have also begun speaking out in favour of such legislation. In this blog series, experts from civil society, governments and business discuss this opportunity and what it could mean for advancing human rights in business.

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