Why EU legislation and a UN instrument on corporate accountability must be complementary. A policy briefing by CIDSE, ECCJ, ECCHR, FIDH and Friends of the Earth-Europe, October 2021
While States and civil society discuss the adoption of binding rules for corporations at the Human Rights Council this week, corporate activities globally continue to represent a serious threat for people and the planet. The adoption of a UN Legally Binding Instrument on business and human rights would be a major step in closing the global gap that allows corporations to escape their responsibilities when they cause or contribute to harm.
While the European Commission is expected to table Union-wide legislation to regulate the activities of corporations with regards to their impact on Human Rights and the environment, the EU has been mostly absent from UN negotiations. The reason advanced for the EU absence has often been the need to adopt a regional European instrument before engaging in global negotiations.
In a new policy briefing published today, CIDSE, Friends of the Earth Europe, the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ), the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) argue that the EU should engage in the process for a UN legally binding instrument “to ensure that the EU’s regional reforms get inspiration from and complement reforms at the international level – in particular regarding corporate liability and barriers to justice – and that people affected by violations are not left without protection, while avoiding that rightsholders and companies could be subject to conflicting standards from region to region”.
Contact: Giuseppe Cioffo, Corporate Regulation Officer (cioffo(at)cidse.org)
Credit photo: Victor Barro/Friends of the Earth International