Webinar series human rights and business

On The Forthcoming EU’s Directive On Human Rights Due Diligence: Webinar Series 2021

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.

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.

AGENDA

WEBINAR 1: THE MOMENTUM FOR mHRDD IN THE EU (April 26) 

WEBINAR 2: PRECEDENTS OF mHRDD IN EUROPE (May 17)

WEBINAR 3: A NEW EU BUSINESS MODEL? (June 14)

Find out more on each theme below.

WEBINAR 1: THE MOMENTUM FOR mHRDD IN THE EU (April 26) 

There is a notable momentum within the EU on regulating multinational businesses and global supply chains. What has convinced the EU and Member States to act? How come some businesses support a law on HRDD instead of voluntary approaches to CSR? What are the key parameters and points of contention in the current drafts from the European Parliament?

Webcast available here and on our On Human Rights podcast.

Chair: Malin Oud (Raoul Wallenberg Institute)

  • Radu Mares (Raoul Wallenberg Institute) – EU’s CSR journey from voluntarism to
    mHRDD
  • Cecilia Ekholm (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) – Why Sweden supports mHRDD and
    where does this law fit in the ‘smart mix of measures’ on Responsible Business Conduct
  • Olga Martin-Ortega (University of Greenwich) – Enhanced spaces for stakeholder
    participation and access to information through mHRDD
  • Greg Priest (Head of Social Impact and Human Rights at Inter IKEA Group) – How do companies reason about this new EU Directive and why some companies came publicly in support of mHRDD.

Find out more about the panelists.

WEBINAR 2: PRECEDENTS OF mHRDD IN EUROPE

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
More info on the panelists here.

WEBINAR 3: A NEW EU BUSINESS MODEL?

Responsible and sustainable value chains are moving up the EU policy agenda. With its Green Deal adopted in 2019 the EU aims at a more sustainable growth model and in early 2021 the EU put forward a more assertive international trade policy. Where does the mHRDD Directive fit in this flurry of EU regulations and policies? Is the EU likely to succeed in its attempt to connect trade and values? What are businesses doing or could do to support the EU? Is the EU approach to regulating supply chains and trade overly ambitious, misguided or problematic in other ways?

Chair: Morten Kjaerum (Raoul Wallenberg Institute)

  • Radu Mares (Raoul Wallenberg Institute) – How does the EU Directive link to the UN discussions around treaty on business and human rights
  • Axel Marx (Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies) – The EU’s value-based trade strategy and its relation to mHRDD Directive
  • Malin Oud (Raoul Wallenberg Institute) – The EU-China relations and whether China is the ultimate test for EU’s value-based trade
  • Åsa Beckius (Diakonia) – ‘The ‘Brussels Effect’: Insights from gender equality to fulfil the transformative potential of mHRDD’

When : June 14 2021, 13.00-14.00
More info coming soon.

 

Photo by Guillaume Périgois on Unsplash

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