The term soft law is used to denote agreements, principles and declarations that are not legally binding. Soft law instruments are predominantly found in the international sphere. UN General Assembly resolutions are an example of soft law. Hard law refers generally to legal obligations that are binding on the parties involved and which can be legally enforced before a court.
A few months before the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Dhaka, TÜV Rheinland audited the production facilities at textile producer Phantom Apparel Ltd as part of a social audit. ECCHR argues that TÜV Rheinland ignored professional auditing standards.
On the initiative of ECCHR the Hamburg Consumer Protection Agency filed an unfair competition complaint against the German discount retailer Lidl for claims made in the company's advertisements about fair working conditions in their supplier chain.
ECCHR and its partner organizations urged the FAO/WHO in an open letter and monitoring report to implement urgently needed changes to effectively address the widespread mismanagement of pesticides worldwide.
Transnational corporations' responsibilities also extend to the working conditions in their subsidiary and supplier companies abroad. This position is supported by survivors and relatives of victims of the fatal fire at the Ali Enterprises textile factory in Karachi. Together with ECCHR, they filed a legal action for compensation against KiK.