EU study shows urgent need for laws to hold companies liable

24 February 2020

According to a European Commission study on human rights due diligence published today, voluntary measures have not succeeded in protecting workers, communities, and the environment from systematic human rights violations linked to the global supply chains of European businesses and financial institutions. The study recommends mandatory rules to deliver on the EU’s commitments on human rights, social justice, the climate crisis and the environment.

Jill McArdle, corporate accountability campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said

"The EU likes to present itself as a champion of human rights, but violations of people’s rights and environmental damage are often ingrained in its companies’ practices. Citizens are demanding that the EU step up and hold companies liable for the harm they cause. We need new laws that go beyond a box-ticking exercise for business, bring an end to corporate impunity and guarantee access to justice for victims of human rights and environmental abuses.”

847,000 European citizens had signed a petition demanding justice for victims of corporate crimes and laws to hold transnational corporations liable.