NGO proposal for EU legislation on business and human rights

1 September 2020

All around the world, businesses are responsible for human rights abuses and environmental harm, as underscored by the recent COVID-19 crisis.

Businesses must not be allowed to close their eyes to the impact of their business decisions on other actors in the chain. Voluntary measures have proved to be vastly insufficient, as recognised by the recent European Commission study on due diligence requirements through the supply chain.

Therefore, new legislation is urgently needed to establish clear, robust and enforceable cross-sectoral requirements on business enterprises, including financial institutions, to respect human rights and the environment and to carry out due diligence.

This paper, authored by a coalition of NGOS, lays out a vision for the principal elements of such an EU legislation.