Closure of Access to Justice campaign
About a year ago, CIDSE launched the “Access to Justice Campaign”. At the time, the issue that CIDSE and its members were trying to address concerned the access to justice component of the, then-upcoming, European Union’s Directive on corporate due diligence and accountability.
The discussion within the CIDSE network, including with Members and partners, revolved around the need to ensure the Directive would include strong provisions ensuring that those suffering abuse of their human rights or environment caused by corporate activities involving company-based or operating in the EU could find remedy and justice. It was clear to us, at the time, that many companies have accepted the idea that they must act to prevent negative impacts on people and the planet. However, many of them still refuse the need to acknowledge their responsibilities when the time comes to offer victims justice and remedy.
Through an animated video, we wanted to make it clear that laws are urgently needed to protect our human family and common home from the impact of corporations. Because the devil is in the details, and a strong law will depend on how specific issues are addresses, we produced an illustrated multi-lingual glossary of access to justice in the context of corporate abuse. Armed with such tools, our members’ volunteers were equipped with the necessary information to use standard template letters, also created as part of the campaign, to email their representatives in the European Parliament and ask for a strong law.
Since then, our ask for that law has materialised in the European Commission’s Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence proposal. CIDSE’s analysis proved right: amongst the many shortcomings of the law, access to justice for victims was the weakest part of the proposal. But the message in Parliament has been heard, and the draft report by the leading parliamentary committee working on the proposal contains many of the campaign’s asks.
As we approach the end of the year, we are officially closing our Access to Justice campaign. Yet, our work is not over. We need to ensure that in the coming months strong, people-centered provisions ensure justice and remedy for those affected. For this reason, we have joined forces with more than a hundred European civil society organisations and trade unions in the Justice is Everybody’s Business campaign. Together with our members and allies, we will continue to strive for the voices of communities resisting corporate power to be heard and for a law that fulfil their expectations.
Join us at justice-business.org.