EUROPE

SERIES OF VIDEOS ON UN GUIDING PRINCIPLES ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

The FNF European Dialogue Programme in Brussels released a series of short explainer videos. They cover the most pressing issues in the field of human rights in the business environment, from child labour and business responsibility to why we actually need a regulation at the European level.

Globalisation has led to greater prosperity and increasing levels of development worldwide. At the same time, weak rules of law in many developing and emerging countries favour human rights violations and environmental damage in more complex supply chains. Ten years after their adoption, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are increasingly incorporated into legal regulations. To date, 25 countries have created National Action Plans, but they often still lack legally binding instruments to bring about sustainable global rethinking. This could now change in the EU, where a majority in the European Parliament in March 2021 voted in favour of due diligence and corporate accountability and gave the European Commission a clear mandate to propose a regulation at the European level. Such a regulation would cover environmental and human rights/labour abuses and demand companies to clearly address and prevent adverse impacts in their business operations.

The European Commission now faces a difficult task in balancing a variety of interests and stakeholders at the national and European level. Over half a million people and around 700 civil society organisations, businesses and trade unions contributed to the public consultations, held by the European Commission from October 2020 to February 2021. The main claims of civil society concern the inclusion of victims and marginalised communities into all relevant processes, as well as access to justice against companies through European courts. Companies and business associations on the other hand call on the Commission not to forget the challenges with regard to implementation and potential burden on companies.

What is this supply chain discussion actually all about?

MORE ABOUT THE HUMAN RIGHTS WORK OF THE FRIEDRICH NAUMANN FOUNDATION FOR FREEDOM:

humanrights.freiheit.org