Mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence (HREDD) has been proposed at EU level to regulate the human rights violations and environmental harms in the global value chains of companies operating in the EU, in the form of the EU’s forthcoming sustainable corporate governance directive.

However, the legislation in its current form is not fit for purpose. Furthermore, while such new EU laws are needed, this directive alone will not solve the global problem of corporate impunity. It must complement rather than substitute a legally binding instrument at the UN (UN LBI) to close the transnational gaps that enable corporate impunity.

In this briefing Friends of the Earth International outlines its demands for EU legislation that will effectively prevent human rights violations and environmental harms and improve access to justice and remedy for all those affected, both people and the environment.

“The EU’s long awaited corporate due diligence law must be matched by a commitment from the region to engage constructively in the UN negotiations for an ambitious and effective Binding Treaty. The new law will fail to secure the necessary human rights’ protection and prevention for peoples affected by corporate impunity, without internationally legally binding rules.”

Leticia Paranhos Menna de Oliveira, Economic justice coordinator at Friends of the Earth International

“While this proposed law finally acknowledges that corporations are liable for their subsidiaries, it fails to empower people suffering from corporate violations who try to take their perpetrators to court. People in Uganda whose land has been grabbed by Total, are exhausted and hungry after waiting over two years for compensation. They cannot live on ‘contractual assurances’.”

Jill McArdle, corporate accountability campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe