European Parliament Should Vote to Respect Human Rights

(Brussels) – The European Parliament should seize the chance to strengthen the accountability of companies operating in Europe by requiring them to respect human rights and the environment throughout their global supply chains, Human Rights Watch said today.

On January 27, 2021, the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee will vote on a proposal to request EU legislation to hold companies accountable, including recommendations for its content. If the committee approves the proposal, it will go to the European Parliament for a vote. The Parliament’s recommendations could help shape the corporate accountability law initiative announced by Didier Reynders, the European justice commissioner, in April 2020.


Do you know where your watch is from?


Your soap?


Your t-shirt?


The metals in your watch could be mined by children in Tanzania.


Your soap could be made with palm oil that’s grown by companies …that displaced Indigenous people in Indonesia.


The cotton in your shirt could be farmed by people working in Uzbekistan… for little or no pay.


Some European companies source from countries where human rights abuses are rife and environmental harm goes unpunished.


In many cases, company activities cause or contribute to abuses that harm people and the planet.


Beef on your plate might be linked to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest,

an ecosystem that is vital to holding back global warming.


Energy that powers your home might come from a company that has failed to take the measures it should on the climate crisis.


Companies operating in the EU should be required to respect and protect workers, the environment, and the communities around the world impacted by their operations and  supply chains.


The EU has a historic opportunity to make business better, greener and rights-respecting, at home and abroad.


It should adopt a law to ensure that companies respect rights, face consequences where they cause or contribute to harms, and victims can seek justice for abuses.




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