E.U. Due Diligence: We’re running out of time, but this could be a game changer

E.U. Due Diligence: We’re running out of time, but this could be a game changer

  • Published on
    November 30, 2022
  • Written by:
    Monica Burns
  • Category:
    Law & Policy, Supply Chain
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Photo credit: Philip Reynaers / Photonews / Justice is Everybody’s Business

European leaders are deciding on game-changing rules to stop big business from getting away with exploiting people and destroying the planet. But big business is doing everything it can to keep getting its way.  

As part of the Justice is Everybody’s Business campaign, we’re calling on you to remind our leaders who they’re working for and tell them to put people and planet before profits. 

The E.U. Due Diligence Directive risks being seriously watered down

At the moment, big business is getting away with all sorts of bad behavior: it can profit from forced labor or poison a community’s water without fear of consequences. That’s because right now corporations shape the rules.  

This could all change with a new due diligence law, or in other words: game-changing rules that would put power back in the hands of the people. [1] 

On December 1, E.U. leaders will come together to decide on these game-changing rules. But right now it’s looking like nothing much will change – big business still has the upper hand. And there is no mention of protecting the environment or how communities can get justice if they have been harmed by bad business practices. 

Tell ministers to step up and protect people over profit

We need to remind our leaders that they don’t work for big business but for us. They need to prioritise the lives of communities and the health of our planet. So the Justice is Everybody’s Business campaign has made a powerful animation for our leaders to refresh their memory.  

Send the animation to E.U. ministers and tell them to put people over profits! You can tweet at ministers in your own country or choose from our priority list below:

The animation will appear after you post!

Not in the E.U.? This still affects you and you can still take part! In today’s world, supply chains are global – so our action and solidarity must be global too. Companies who trade in the E.U. are exploiting workers and harming communities all over the world. We’re calling for this law to give those people access to justice in E.U. courts! By holding companies to high standards in the E.U., we can also raise the bar for other corporations globally.       

Time’s up for businesses evading responsibility for trafficking and other harms

There are so many examples of bad corporate behavior, but here is just one: a construction firm trafficked workers to Belgium to build a shopping centre. They worked gruelling shifts without breaks and many were not paid. In desperation, some workers threatened to jump off a crane if their salaries weren’t paid.

The builders of the Belgian shopping centre never got justice because the construction company escaped national law. They set up a business model that crossed borders and made it hard to pinpoint which business was responsible for what. [2] And we see this over and over again.

That’s why we urgently need to change the rules of the game and make sure everyone can get justice in the face of big business.

How David wins against Goliath

The movement to hold corporations accountable is gaining momentum! Just last week, partners around the E.U. pressured E.U. leaders to vote down the toxic fossil fuel treaty, the ECT. [3]

We thought we had been locked into this toxic treaty, allowing the fossil fuel industry to stop ambitious climate action for decades to come. But thanks to people like you, governments have called for an end to this treaty and we changed the course of history in the process.

Let’s do it again and push for game-changing rules that would hold corporations accountable. This is how we put the power back in the hands of the people! Tweet now!

[1] https://friendsoftheearth.eu/press-release/tip-scales-human-rights-corporate-accountability-rules/ 

[2] https://justice-business.org/story/shopping-mall-built-on-unpaid-work/ 

[3]  https://twitter.com/wemoveEU/status/1595022356501917696

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