Putting people and the planet at the core of business

Partner Organisation Publications

Strengthening corporate responsibility: the case for mandatory due diligence to tackle the UK’s global deforestation footprint

Client Earth and Global Witness

This briefing focuses on the particular case for due diligence in relation to deforestation risks where there is an urgent and pressing need for action, but ultimately  outlines that due diligence should apply across all sectors, supply and investment chains and encompass environmental, human rights and governance risks and impacts.

June 2020

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Evidence for mandatory HRDD legislation

European Coalition for Corporate Justice

June 2020

This document collects key policy and legal developments in the field of mandatory human rights due diligence or parent company liability, which show the emergent trend towards legislation.

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The State of Remedy under the OECD Guidelines

OECD Watch

June 2020

A report on understanding National Contact Point (NCP) cases concluded in 2019 through the lens of remedy.

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We mean business: protecting women’s rights in global supply chains


This report compiles a variety of cases from ActionAid’s work with communities in the Global South where company activities have differentiated and disproportionate impacts on women: more specifically on their economic rights, their access to land, their right to decent work, their unpaid care and domestic work, and on gender-based violence. Based on those cases, ActionAid calls for human rights due diligence that is gender-responsive.

March 2020

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Business and Human Rights Guide


The Guide aims to encourage community activists, civil society organizations and legal professionals to use legal action for corporate accountability. It seeks to do this by providing practical tips and accessible information on what users legal rights are, what legal mechanisms may be available for them to use, how to use them, and where they can find support.

January 2020

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Summary of outreach to Brazilian beef and timber companies on forced labour

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre

March 2019

In October 2018, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre approached 9 Brazilian timber and beef companies with a questionnaire on their action to prevent forced labour in their supply chains.  Seven companies responded representing a response rate of 77%.

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Cattle Route: Modern Slavery and the British Market

Reporter Brasil

March 2019

This report addresses the reality of slave labour in Brazil’s cattle industry, stressing its connections with British companies and exports to the United Kingdom. It focuses providing insights into the impact of anti-slavery laws – notably the UK Modern Slavery Act and the so-called “dirty list” of slave labour – in tackling modern slavery in production chains.

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Tackling slavery in supply chains: lessons from Brazilian-UK beef and timber

University of Nottingham

March 2019

This is a guide for supply chain managers and procurement professionals on tackling slavery in the supply chains of the commodity products they source, especially beef and timber. It presents case studies of emerging anti-slavery practices in Brazilian-UK supply chains and draws upon collaborative research led by the University of Nottingham and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC Rio) with Reporter Brasil, CORE and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre.

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Access to legal remedies for victims of corporate human rights abuses in third countries

Policy Department for External Relations; Directorate General for External Policies of the European Union

February 2019

This study attempts to map out all relevant cases (35 in total) filed in Member States of the European Union on the basis of alleged corporate human rights abuses in third countries. It also provides an in-depth analysis of 12 cases and identifies various obstacles faced by claimants in accessing legal remedy. It makes a number of recommendations to the EU institutions in order to improve access to legal remedies in the EU for victims of corporate human rights abuses.

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OECD Watch Guide to the 2011 OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

OECD Watch

March 2018

The dispute resolution mechanism  which is a key feature of the OECD Guidelines  is an instrument that stakeholders can use to address harmful corporate practices that have affected them and to seek remedy. This OECD Watch Guide to the Guidelines is designed to help individuals, communities, NGOs and trade unions that have been negatively affected by corporate behaviour to address the alleged misconduct through filing an OECD Guidelines complaint.

Guide available here>>

Improving Paths to Business Accountability for Human Rights Abuses in the Global Supply Chains: A Legal Guide

University of Essex Business and Human Rights Project

January 2018

The University of Essex Business and Human Rights Project has published a legal guide identifying paths to accountability for human rights abuses in global supply chains, by looking beyond the ‘arm’s length transaction’ between certain contractual parties in a special relationship. The underlying rationale behind this exercise is an attempt to overcome the disconnect between the law and the economic and social realities prevailing in global production networks.

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Comparing the Implementation of the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive in the UK, Germany, France and Italy

Frank Bold

December 2017

This Frank Bold report analyses and compares the implementation of the EU non-financial directive in the UK, Germany, France and Italy. The Directive provides the first comprehensive framework for ESG reporting at the EU level but gives considerable leeway to Member states in the transposition process. Whilst generally the new EU-wide legislation has been a positive step, there are a number of gaps in the Directive itself, which have not been adequately addressed in the implementing legislation.

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Nigeria: A Criminal Enterprise? Shell’s Involvement in Human Rights Violations In Nigeria In the 1990s

Amnesty International

November, 2017

This report examines the role that the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell, played in a brutal campaign by the Nigerian security forces to silence protests in Ogoniland, in the oil-producing Niger Delta region, in the 1990s. Amnesty International calls on the governments of Nigeria, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom to investigate, with a view to prosecution, Shell’s potential involvement in crimes linked to human rights violations committed by the Nigerian security forces in Ogoniland in the 1990s.

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

European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ)

November 2017

This 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’.

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The French Law on Duty of Care: A Historic Step Towards Making Globalization Work for All

European Coalition for Corporate Justice and Sherpa

August 2017

This paper, published in the Business and Human Rights Journal, describes a four-year battle, fought by civil society organisations, trade unions and Parliamentarians, to advance a law that assigned a duty of care among parent and subcontracting companies to prevent human rights abuses in their operations. The piece situates the French law within other regulatory attempts to require due diligence in a number of European countries. It also reviews the nature and scope of the law’s requirements and its compliance mechanisms.

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The Corporate Crime Principles

Amnesty International and The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)

November 2016

Amnesty International and ICAR have launched “The Corporate Crimes Principles: Advancing Investigations and Prosecutions in Human Rights Cases”. The  Principles are the culmination of work developed by a number of distinguished legal experts and seek to encourage state actors to combat corporate crimes more effectively. They address the impunity gap by providing a common, global approach to the investigation and prosecution of corporate crime.

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A “4×10” plan for why and how to unlock the potential of the OECD Guidelines

OECD Watch

June 2016

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, governments must demonstrate their commitment to making the Guidelines a relevant tool for governing today’s global economy. In this briefing paper OECD Watch provides a “4 x 10” bullet-point plan highlighting four key features that give the Guidelines the potential to help ensure businesses behave responsibly. It also includes ten actions that governments must take to unlock that potential and to advance their legally binding obligations to further the effectiveness of the Guidelines.

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Obstacle Course: How the UK’s NCP handles human rights complaints under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

Amnesty International

March 2016

This report by Amnesty International examines how complaints have been dealt with by the UK National Contact Point across three stages – initial assessment, mediation and determination. It assesses the extent to which the NCP complies with the OECD Guidelines’ implementation procedures and the extent to which the NCP’s statements and decisions are aligned with the Human Rights chapter of the Guidelines. Recommendations are made for improving the effectiveness of the UK NCP with regard to these findings.

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Survey of the provision in the UK of access to remedies for victims of human rights harms involving business enterprises

Professor Robert McCorquodale

December 2015
A survey and analysis of the current state-based judicial and non-judicial mechanisms available in the UK to enable access to a remedy for victims of human rights abuses by business enterprises, by Professor Robert McCorquodale. Commissioned by the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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ECCJ reaction to the European Commission and External Action Service Staff Working Document on UNGPs implementation

European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ)

July 2015

In this briefing the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) reacts to the publication of the European Commission’s Staff Working Document (SWD) on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs)

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National Action Plans Report

International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR)

January 2015
ICAR and DIHR have launched National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights: A Toolkit for the Development, Implementation, and Review of State Commitments to Business and Human Rights Frameworks.

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ETI & BRC on Modern Slavery Bill

Ethical Trading Initiative and British Retail Consortium

December 2014

ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) and BRC (British Retail Consortium) welcome the Modern Slavery Bill and the UK Government’s commitment to eradicate the abuse and exploitation of workers, both in this country and globally.  ETI and BRC members have focused their efforts influencing the Bill in three areas:

  • Transparency in Supply Chains Clause
  • Gangmasters Licensing Authority, labour inspection and enforcement of standards
  • Role and remit of the Anti-Slavery Commissioner

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Assessment of the NFR reform-short public version

European Coalition on Corporate Justice

July 2014

In April 2014 the European Parliament ratified the Directive on non-financial reporting. This briefing, prepared by ECCJ,  is an assessment of the EU Directive on the disclosure of non-financial information by certain large companies.

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A more resource efficient EU economy: the role of company reporting

Friends of the Earth Europe

November 2013

Research has shown that there are substantial gains to be made by improving the use of resources by companies, but only a limited number of companies are focusing on this area. This report argues that by introducing rules to make companies measure and reduce their overall use of resources, environmental and social impacts will be improved, and companies will lower their costs while boosting competitiveness.

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UK giving green light for corporate crime

Amnesty International

September 2012

On 20 August 2006, the people of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, woke to find that foul-smelling, toxic waste had been dumped in their city. UK company Trafigura Ltd coordinated the operations that led to the dumping. Amnesty International’s new briefing details their call for a criminal investigation into Trafigura Ltd for its role in these events, and the UK’s disappointing refusal to act. It also details wider failings in the UK justice system for tackling corporate crime as exposed by the UK’s response.

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Flagship or Failure? The UK’s implementation of the OECD guidelines and it’s approach to corporate accountability

Amnesty International UK, Christian Aid and Friends of the Earth

January 2007
This report reviews the limited success of the UK’s implementation of the OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises.

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