On 4 September 2013, the UK became one of the first countries to launch a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, building on the government’s commitment to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. While CORE shares the plan’s clear expectation that UK companies respect human rights throughout their global operations and supply chains, we question whether the proposals will be sufficient to reduce corporate abuses.
A last-minute deal between EU Member States and EU Parliament negotiators means that listed companies will be required to report on their social and environmental impacts, across the supply chain. CORE welcomed the deal as a step forward but expressed disappointment at the role played by the UK government in the talks.
A new report released today by CORE, ICAR and ECCJ shows that victims of human rights abuses caused by multinational companies are unable to access justice, despite government commitments to action made over two years ago. ‘The Third Pillar: Access to Judicial Remedies for Human Rights Violations by Transnational Business’, shows that despite guarantees set out in human rights law, major barriers remain to bringing court cases against corporates in the countries where they are based. The report reveals that costs, complex corporate structures and inflexible laws are preventing cases from reaching the courts in Europe and the US, even when it proves impossible to proceed with cases in the country where the abuses occurred.