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Debating mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence legislation: A Reality Check

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Many EU and non-EU countries are already adopting or considering mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence (mHRDD) legislation. In April 2020, the EU Commissioner for Justice committed to an EU-wide initiative on corporate due diligence, to be presented in 2021. 

These developments represent solid steps in the right direction. However, progress towards mHRDD legislation is facing a significant reaction, often on the basis of false assumptions and misleading arguments rather than facts and evidence. 

This document aims to counter those flawed or inaccurate claims and to prevent them from dominating the public and political debate around this topic. Its goal is to serve as a useful resource for policymakers, civil society organisations, trade unions and activists to rebut those arguments and to bring into the conversation the interests of people and nature along global value chains, as well as the point of view of responsible businesses, currently facing unfair disadvantages as competitors profit from lower costs gained through exploitation and disregard for human rights and the environment.