Civil society statement on the European Commission study into supply chain due diligence
February 24th, 2020

The undersigned civil society organisations and networks strongly welcome the release of the findings from the European Commission’s study on due diligence requirements through the supply chain.

The results of this study unequivocally affirm that voluntary measures are failing and that there is urgent need for regulatory action at EU level in order to protect workers, communities, and the environment from systematic, ongoing and worsening human rights and environmental impacts linked to the global supply chains of businesses and financial institutions. It is particularly noteworthy that the results of the study are based on broad consultation with both civil society and business.

With the conclusion of the study, the European Commission is taking a serious step toward identifying how the EU could better fulfil its obligations under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The EU must now pass mandatory due diligence rules in order to comply with its duty to protect against corporate abuses such as land grabbing, human rights abuses, the killing of human rights defenders, forced and child labour, gender-based violence, and environmental degradation and deforestation.

Citizens are demanding action. We call on the European Commission to act swiftly on the study’s findings and urgently initiate the process toward a legislative proposal on corporate human rights and environmental due diligence, which includes enhanced access to judicial remedy for victims. For such a proposal to  effectively address human and environmental rights abuses whilst enhancing remedy for victims, it is crucial that it includes corporate liability for harm caused.