Claudia Saller (ECCJ), Julia Otten & Johanna Kusch on why the German government should give the mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence agenda a real push, both at home and in Brussels.
Over 20 leading NGOs working on corporate transparency have published a statement calling on EU policy-makers to define companies’ disclosure obligations on sustainability issues on the occasion of today’s high-level conference on the future of corporate reporting hosted by the European Commission in Brussels.
This executive summary of the report by Germanwatch and MISEREOR is all about energy – a sector that is inextricably linked to globalisation and is associated time and time again with human rights violations. The study explores the question of whether and to what extent German business and the German Government have implemented the demands of the UN Guiding Principles to date.
As development and human rights organisations we participated intensively in the German government’s consultation process for developing the National Action Plan (NAP) for implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: in the government’s steering committee, in the altogether twelve thematic hearings and in the three plenary conferences. In this context, we expected the government to move away from the failed model of purely voluntary self-commitment and legally require German companies to discharge their human rights responsibilities in their activities and business relationships abroad.
Over the last few years NGOs have criticized numerous human rights violations in which German corporations were directly or indirectly involved. Blatant violations of human rights are occurring for instance in agriculture, in manufacturing and in the extractive industries. Germanwatch and MISEREOR have documented these cases in a report.