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Human rights due diligence obligations along global supply chains: What should EU legislation look like?

How can the way businesses manage their social and environmental impacts be changed? Voluntary measures alone are unlikely to have a significant impact or provide effective remedy to those affected. Currently only one in three businesses in the EU are undertaking due diligence which takes into account all human rights and environmental impacts. A level playing field within the single European market is lacking: European companies face fragmented EU sustainability and due diligence requirements and heterogeneous national legislation. An increasing number of European companies are arguing in favour of standardised human rights due diligence rules within the EU. The European Commission has therefore highlighted that sustainability should be further embedded into the corporate governance framework and has launched a legislative initiative.

This workshop will integrate the perspectives of all relevant stakeholders, reflect on the scope and added value of EU legislation, and discuss the priorities for its substance. The aim is to develop proposals for a European due diligence standard that effectively protects right-holders along global supply chains while taking into account legitimate business interests. Concrete outcomes could be the formulation of minimum requirements to close existing human rights protection gaps and considerations in ensuring that EU legislation is workable and proportionate for businesses.