Webinar series human rights and business

May 17 Webinar on the Precedents of Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence in Europe

Webinar series: In 2020, the European Union announced that it would adopt a Directive on mandatory human rights due diligence (mHRDD) for companies. This decision, motivated by the need to prevent human rights abuses, as well as environmental harm, has taken many by surprise. The text has not been adopted yet, but the European Parliament approved a resolution on 10 March 2021 which includes recommendations to the Commission.





France adopted the first human rights due diligence law in the world in 2017. In 2019, Netherlands followed with a child labour law. What are they main parameters of these due diligence laws and the draft currently being discussed in Germany? What have been the most controversial design choices? What is the level of corporate compliance and implementation so far? What are the impacts of these laws further down the supply chain and will they enhance protection of affected rightholders?

Chair: Radu Mares (Raoul Wallenberg Institute)

  • Lucie Chatelain (Sherpa) – The French law, compliance aspects and lessons for the EU Directive and EU member states
  • Joseph Wilde-Ramsing (SOMO) – The Dutch child labour due diligence law, and its upcoming implementation
  • Daniel Heilmann (Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law) – The German draft law and on-going debates around mHRDD
  • Almut Schilling-Vacaflor (University of Osnabrück) – The French law’s impact on human rights in the Global South (Bolivia and Brazil)

When : May 17 2021, 13.00 – 14.00
Where : Zoom webinar, register here


Lucie Chatelain - WebinarLucie Chatelain is an advocacy and litigation officer in Sherpa’s Globalisation and Human Rights Programme. She focuses on corporate accountability, in particular parent and lead companies’ civil liability for human rights and environmental abuses. Prior to joining Sherpa in 2019, Lucie was an associate in the international arbitration team of a law firm in Paris. She also worked for the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and volunteered with several organisations involved in the defence of migrants’ rights. She holds a master’s degree in Economic Law from Sciences Po Paris and a LLM in International Law from the University of Cambridge.

Joseph Wilde-Ramsing - Business and Human rights Webinar

Joseph Wilde-Ramsing holds degrees in political science and Spanish from universities in the USA and a doctorate degree in energy governance from Twente University (Netherlands). At SOMO since 2005, Joseph researches the impacts of corporations in the energy, extractives and public services sectors. With OECD Watch he advocates for effective corporate accountability rules and mechanisms and works with communities and victims of corporate abuse to hold corporations accountable and seek remedy.

Daniel Heilmann - Webinar on Due Diligence and Human rights

Daniel Heilmann is Head of Projects at the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law in Heidelberg/Germany, where he designs and implements legal capacity-building and awareness-raising projects. Daniel holds a Ph.D. in public international law fromGoethe University Frankfurtand he wasmanaging editor of the Max-Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law from 2008 to 2012. He has worked as a legal advisor in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Sub-saharan Africa. His research and advocacy interests focus on business and human rights, anti-corruption, good governance and the rule of law

Almut Schilling-Vacaflor - webinar business and human rights
Almut Schilling‐Vacaflor,
PhD, is a sociologist and anthropologist, and currently works as a Postdoc at Osnabrück University. Her research deals with environmental governance, business and human rights, commodity chains, participation, extractive industries and the agribusiness in Latin America. Schilling-Vacaflor co-leads a research project on the soy and beef supply chains from Brazil. Recent publications: Hardening Foreign Corporate Accountability in the Agro-Commodity Sector? (Regulation & Governance), Putting the French Duty of Vigilance Law in Context (Human Rights Review).

With this Webinar series RWI explores where this initiative is coming from, what it is likely to lead to, and what are the limits of due diligence as a tool to protect human rights in global supply chains. We will look at regulatory precedents to extract lessons and look at the on-going European debate to see what the sticking points and major choices are. Then we will place mHRDD in the regulatory ecosystem surrounding supply chains given the growing number of trade and investment agreements as well as multistakeholder CSR initiatives. Finally, we will try to understand what these mean for the EU, and Sweden, as promoters of value-based trade in a time of geopolitical, technological and environmental change.

More information on the webinar series here.

Photo by Guillaume Périgois on Unsplash

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