Tuesday, November 29 • 4:40pm - 6:00pm
Western Europe and Other States Group (WEOG): Recent regulation in business and human rights

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(Version française ci-jointe)
(Versión en español adjunta)

Interpretation available in English, French and Spanish

Session organized by the UN Working Group on business and human rights

Brief description of the session:
This session will consider the recent legislation on business and human rights across WEOG States, especially in relation to mandatory human rights due diligence. This has included legislation in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, as well as the proposed EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive. There have also been proposals for legislation across other States, and existing legislation has been reviewed in some States, such as the Australian Modern Slavery Act. At the same time, there has been legislation about the imports of goods by businesses.

There are many governments in the WEOG region (and in other regions) that are considering whether to introduce legislation on this area or are aware of the possible effects on businesses of legislation in other States. There is also a concern by businesses that a diversity of legislative measures can create difficulties for them in compliance, and a lack of legal certainty, so coherence and consistency would be important. In addition, many civil society actors are seeking to ensure that the legislation created serves the purpose of increasing both the accountability of businesses for their adverse human rights and environmental impacts, and access to remedies by victims.

A particular focus of the session will be the processes by which these pieces of legislation came about, and how they reached the final stages. This will help all stakeholders to share the lessons learned from efforts by governments and regional entities to drive greater policy coherence on business and human rights issues through regulation, and to scale up the implementation by business enterprises of the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. It will also facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue around the way forward in WEOG States.

Key objectives of the session:
  • Clarify the key provisions of the draft EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive;
  • Compare the draft EU Directive with other broad-based mandatory human rights due diligence legislation;
  • Discuss the processes about how these types of legislation were crafted; and
  • Offer insights for all stakeholders when considering their own legislation.

Key discussion questions:
  • What were the processes which led to the draft EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive? What can be learned from those processes and what is the way forward?
  • What factors should all stakeholders consider when contemplating drafting legislation on mandatory human rights due diligence and other regulation relevant to the business and human rights agenda?

Additional background documents
  • https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/proposal-directive-corporate-sustainable-due-diligence-and-annex_en
  • https://media.business-humanrights.org/media/documents/EU_Business_Statement_February2022.pdf

avatar for Erika George

Erika George

Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law, University of Utah
Erika R. George is the Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law where she teaches constitutional law, international human rights law, international environmental law, and seminars on corporate citizenship and sustainability. She... Read More →

avatar for Markus Krajewski

Markus Krajewski

Professor, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Markus Krajewski is is University Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg and holds the Chair in Public Law and Public International Law. He is one of the programme directors of the MA in Human Rights and chairperson of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Human Rights... Read More →
avatar for Justine Nolan

Justine Nolan

Director, Australian Institute for Human Rights, UNSW Sydney
Justine Nolan is the Director of the Australian Human Rights Institute and  Professor in the Faculty of Law & Justice at UNSW Sydney. Justine's research focuses on the intersection of business and human rights, in particular, supply chain responsibility for human rights and modern... Read More →

Zsofia Kerecsen

Team leader – Corporate governance, Directorate General for Justice, European Commission
avatar for Gabrielle Holly

Gabrielle Holly

Senior Adviser, Danish Institute for Human Rights
Gabrielle Holly is a Senior Adviser in the Business and Human Rights Department of the Danish Institute for Human Rights. She is a business and human rights specialist and an experienced commercial disputes practitioner having practiced over a decade at Magic Circle firms in Australia... Read More →
avatar for Anouska Perram

Anouska Perram

Coordinator, Stichting Forest Peoples Programme
avatar for Louise Vytopil

Louise Vytopil

Senior Manager Business & Human Rights, KPMG
Dr. Louise Vytopil, LLB MSc has 15 years of experience in business & human rights. She acts as Vice-Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-corruption and currently leads KPMG The Netherlands business & human rights service... Read More →
avatar for Kristel Tonstad

Kristel Tonstad

Policy Director, OECD National Contact Point - Norway
Kristel Tonstad is Policy Director at the OECD National Contact Point for Responsible Business Conduct of Norway. She served as Head of Secretariat of the Ethics Information Committee, which presented a draft Transparency Act to the Norwegian Government in 2019. She is currently working... Read More →
avatar for Caroline Omari Lichuma

Caroline Omari Lichuma

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Luxembourg
Caroline is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Luxembourg's Department of Law. Her current research is in the broad area of Business and Human Rights, with a particular interest in regulatory developments at the national, regional and international levels.Caroline received... Read More →

Cynthia C. Echeverria

Director, Trade Policy, Trade and Economic Security, DHS Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans

Tuesday November 29, 2022 4:40pm - 6:00pm CET