Now more than ever: The EU needs a strong supply chain law

Europe – Supply chains – Human rights and environment

First France, then the Netherlands and Germany – more and more European countries are introducing supply chain laws because they have come to recognize that oil spills, theft of natural resources and forced labor do not arise from nowhere. They are the result of the ruthless practices of companies along their global value chains.   

Yet, a patchwork made up of specific national laws is not enough to effectively protect human rights and the environment on a global scale. On the one hand, these laws often do not go far enough. On the other, they create unequal conditions between states – and in some cases cause companies to relocate to countries that lack human rights protections. But now, the EU has the chance to pass a robust law.  

Case

With the Justice is Everybody’s Business campaign, ECCHR steps up its advocacy for a legal framework at the EU level that adequately protects human rights, along with the environment and the climate, and empowers those affected when companies violate their rights.  

We are calling for:  

  • all companies to be obligated to respect human rights, the climate and the environment
  • risks to be actively combated and prevented 
  • avenues to hold companies liable under civil law and to take action against them when necessary  
  • the strengthening of trade unions and other entities supporting the interests of workers 
  • mandatory, binding guidelines on environmental and climate protection, such as limits on the emission of greenhouse gases 

Context

In today’s globalized world, the operations of supply chains – from the extraction of raw materials to processing, marketing and delivery, as well as the final destinations of products – are obscured, often concealing who is responsible for violations and damages. When damage to people and the environment occurs, both buyer and supplier tend to point the finger at one another. As a result, no one is held liable, and the destruction of the environment and human life continues to go unpunished. 

More and more people have become aware of this deplorable state of affairs and are calling for the appropriate laws to be enacted. But some companies are lobbying against stronger regulations – thus ensuring that laws are weakened or not passed at all. To counteract this, we need joint international action. 

Media

Logo of the Justice is Everybody’s Business campaign © JEB
Logo of the Justice is Everybody’s Business campaign © JEB

Documents (2)

Press (1)

Partners

Glossary (2)

Definition

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights aim to promote corporate responsibility for human rights.

Show More

Topics (4)

Insight

Resource exploitation

Economic activities in the Global South far too often disregard the plight of people and the environment. Looking at resource exploitation, we see that the responsibility for endangering human rights and the environment lies with those who profit most from these industries in the global economy. We work with those affected by such human rights violations to enforce their rights.

Show More

Map