Together with 10 other NGOs -- Action Aid, Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International, CIDSE, European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights, European Coalition for Corporate Justice, FIDH, Friends of the Earth Europe, Global Witness and Oxfam -- we refuse to allow businesses to close their eyes to the impact of their business decisions. We are convinced that new legislation is urgently needed to establish clear, robust and enforceable cross-sectoral requirements on business enterprises, including financial institutions, to respect human rights and the environment and to carry out due diligence.
Our joint statement on key principal elements follows the announcement of a legislative proposal on human rights and environmental due diligence that is set to be put forward by the European Commission in 2021, in recognition of the fact that voluntary measures have proved to be vastly insufficient. Indeed, business enterprises domiciled or based in the EU, or active on the EU market continue to cause, contribute to or be directly linked to human rights abuses and environmental harms through their operations, value chains and business relations. This is despite their international responsibility to respect human rights set out in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).
EU-wide legislation applicable to all business enterprises domiciled or based in the EU, or active on the EU market, will help prevent human rights abuses and environmental harms while ensuring a level playing field within the EU, a coherent legal framework, and increase leverage over third parties in the value chain. Read more in our joint statement on key principal elements that must be part of this legislation.