Mandatory human rights due diligence legislation

A project in the Business and Human Rights research programme

In recent years, some Western states have increasingly demonstrated the political will to improve human rights performance of businesses through mandatory human rights due diligence. There is a growing momentum worldwide, especially in Europe, towards extending corporate liability for human rights violations across groups and their supply chains. Several states have already adopted or started to consider legislation that require companies to carry human rights due diligence (for instance, the French corporate duty of vigilance law, the Dutch child labour due diligence law and the Swiss responsible business initiative). This project, led by Dr Ekaterina Aristova, considers these emerging practices and challenges towards efficient and comprehensive human rights due diligence.

In Hilary Term 2020, the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and the Oxford Business and Human Rights Network (co-convened by Dr Ekaterina Aristova and Lisa Hsin) have organised a series of events ‘Human Rights Due Diligence in Law and Practice’ to discuss the recent regional and national developments in this field with a group of leading practitioners and academics. Audio recordings of the talks are available herehere and here

In a three-part blog series, Dr Aristova has focused on the current trends towards efficient and comprehensive human rights and environmental due diligence; reflected on the prospects of adopting similar legislation in the UK; and identified lessons learnt from the French and Dutch experience of embedding corporate respect for human rights into hard law. On 1 July 2020, Ekaterina took part in the panel discussion 'The EU Due Diligence Initiative: Promises, Possibilities and Pitfalls' organised by the Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research (audio recording is available here).