Human Rights Due Diligence: How to influence company strategies
Our event, held on June 1st , discussed the role of trade unions and workers in HRDD.
Trade unions and other civil society organisations have long pushed for mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD), resulting in the European Commission's legislative proposal for Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence. While needed, this legislative proposal fails to deliver sufficient change to business practices.
When companies, through their activities in third countries, have a large impact locally, it becomes vital that their respect for Human Rights does not become optional. Company activities should not be solely a matter of financial gain, as the cost for setting up due diligence processes is low while it results in increased profitability, productivity and attractiveness of businesses. Irrespective of the potential benefits, companies have a responsibility to uphold human rights and environmental due diligence in all aspects of their operations.
Workers, trade unions and professionals and managers have, and will continue to, play a crucial role in the implementation of sustainable business due diligence strategies, working towards ethical and environmentally friendly supply chains. As shown by our success in advocating for European action, workers’ representatives can actively participate in the creation of better practices.
On June 1, Eurocadres and ETUC hosted a discussion on the importance of human rights due diligence, and how trade unions and professionals and managers can influence company strategies for the benefit of workers and the environment in a free online event. The presentation of a Commission proposal is just another step in the process of integrating HRDD into European working life.
- "No longer a PR stunt for companies, HRDD and CSR has rightly become an operation necessity. We still have strides to make in creating equitable and sustainable supply chains, but have made progress in the past number of years".
The event provided an overview of the European legislation, while addressing national case studies from Germany, France and Belgium. Throughout, the importance of trade union involvement in holding companies to account was made clear, with a number of concrete amendments to the directive becoming clear through the input of our speakers.
Reflecting on the event, Eurocadres President Nayla Glaise stated: "This event proved to be an excellent reminder of the success of trade unions in making human rights and sustainability a business-critical issue. No longer a PR stunt for companies, HRDD and CSR has rightly become an operational necessity. We still have strides to make in creating equitable and sustainable supply chains, but have made progress in the past number of years. Our colleagues from Germany, France and Belgium are a shining example of what we can continue to achieve at both a national and European level".
Speakers on the day included:
- Isabelle Schömann - ETUC
- Nayla Glaise - Eurocadres
- Carola Dittmann - IG BCE
- Pauline Moreau Avila - Force Ouvrière
- Hugues Ghenne - FGTB
We thank all our contributors for their role in making this event successful.