EU needs corporate due diligence

Sallie Anderson

In the current years, scandals including international business have actually multiplied, taking into concern the morality of our financialsystem

Private interests have actually been methodically prioritised to the hinderance of our global human family and our typicalhome


People all over the world have actually seen the outrageous discoveries of the Panama Documents around tax evasion, have actually seen the race to the bottom in the car market to contaminate more and heard how fast style brand names benefit from bad labour and safety policies in global South countries to produce less expensive clothing.

And when their interests are at threat, international business have a secret weapon they can utilize: the Investor-State Conflict Settlement (ISDS) system, a private tribunal system through which they can give court any state, declaring back lost advantages due to the fact that states passed ecological or social laws.

These are simply a couple of examples of how international business are taking advantage of weak regulatory systems for their earnings, however numerous more unknown stories continue to damage people’s lives daily while ruining our world.

This profit-driven system and the throwaway culture it brings needs to be challenged, now more than ever, in a time when the pandemic has actually overthrown our certainties and supplied the chance to re-assess our world system and stimulate a simply shift.

Our societies can and should develop towards higher regard for each other and our environment. For that to take place, we need brave decision makers to take action with the EU leading the method.

As cardinals, we can’t simply be spectators.

Ethical commitment

We have a strong ethical commitment to speak up about this problem which continues to impact our neighborhoods. Assisted by our Catholic worths, we chose to add our name to this declaration, signing up with over 110 bishops to contact federal governments to much better manage private corporations.

We require that they stay up to date with their pledges and their commitments under international law to secure human rights from corporate abuse.

Our call follows a favorable advancement in this instructions: the statement by the EU commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders in May of a robust and obligatory legislation on human rights duediligence


Under no condition must this procedure be stalled.

This legislation must ensure that business have the legal commitment to recognize, evaluate, stop, avoid and alleviate the offenses and threats to the environment and all human rights throughout their supply chains and to significantly enhance the possibilities of afflicted people to declare for settlement in national civil courts.

Prior To this, we have actually seen the advancement of different voluntary efforts, from the Global Compact in the early 2000 to the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights, embraced in2011


However as none of these efforts are legally-binding, private business can still run following their own guidelines. Considering that self-regulation has actually shown to be inadequate; we argue that brand-new laws to manage the private sector should be binding.

Binding policies are likewise a matter of openness.

In the lack of a strong obligatory law, people all over the world are not ensured that the items they utilize every day and purchase are produced without breaching human rights and do not conceal a story of abuse.

People at both ends of global supply chains need guarantees regarding the morality of our trade markets.

Avoidance is just one side of the coin however, due to the fact that some ill-disposed business can still breach human rights even in the existence of a law. They must thus be lawfully liable for their acts. For that our company believe the laws must consist of improved access to justice for victims, in order to abide by the states responsibility to secure them versus corporate abuses.

We remember Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium – 206“Each meaningful economic decision made in one part of the world has repercussions everywhere else; consequently, no government can act without regard for shared responsibility”


Motivated by these words we contact all states to participate in the UN settlements for a lawfully binding instrument to manage, in international human rights law, the activities of multinational corporations.

Such a treaty would avoid any nation or business to use exploitative designs of production and accept the damage of the production in order to enhance their competitive position on the planetmarket


Within the simply shift we picture a financial system that serves people and the world first, commemorating the interconnectedness of our human family and of our stunning typical home.

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