Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence: ECCJ Briefing for the European Union

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

This European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) briefing explains why the EU has both the duty and the competence to legislate for mandatory human rights due diligence. Without mandatory human rights due diligence, companies will continue to commit human rights abuses behind the ‘corporate veil’.

The EU has a treaty obligation to respect human rights because it is ‘founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights’.

The Union also has the competence to harmonise the company law of its member states to ensure the proper functioning of its internal market. Currently, some companies are acting more responsibly than others. Lacking EU wide legislation levelling the playing field, irresponsible companies are gaining an unfair advantage.

For these reasons, the ECCJ argues that the EU ought to legislate for mandatory human rights due diligence, using recent French legislation as its model.

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