Holding Companies to Account: How a new EU law can help create a more sustainable future

A new Global Witness policy briefing sets out key proposals for a robust human rights and environmental due diligence obligation and corporate liability regime in EU law.

For years, from the tropical forests of West Africa to the Guajira peninsula in Colombia and every corner of every continent, European companies have profited from human rights abuses, environmental destruction and climate breakdown. In April 2020, the European Commissioner for Justice committed to introducing a new law to hold corporates to account and turn the tide on years of extractive and abusive practices by companies.

This law must require businesses to conduct due diligence along their whole value chains to prevent and mitigate their harmful human rightsenvironmental and governance impacts. The law must also ensure victims of corporate abuse can hold companies liable when they suffer harm.

Following the  European Parliament vote in March in favour of robust legislation, which had strong cross-party support, and a public consultation on the law to which over half a million people from around the world responded, the Commission is expected to publish a legislative proposal this June.

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