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Ahead of a crucial vote on Friday on new landmark European Union business legislation that would help safeguard human rights, which the German government is now threatening to withdraw its earlier support for, Amnesty International’s Policy Advisor on Business and Human Rights Hannah Storey said: “All EU member states should support and approve this legislation without reservation. It is scandalous that Germany is threatening to withdraw its earlier backing and potentially sink this vital new EU supply chain law in its final stages. We urge all other states to continue to vote for the bill.

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Ahead of a crucial vote on Friday on new landmark European Union business legislation that would help safeguard human rights, which the German government is now threatening to withdraw its earlier support for, Amnesty International’s Policy Advisor on Business and Human Rights Hannah Storey said:

“All EU member states should support and approve this legislation without reservation. It is scandalous that Germany is threatening to withdraw its earlier backing and potentially sink this vital new EU supply chain law in its final stages. We urge all other states to continue to vote for the bill.

It is scandalous that Germany is threatening to withdraw its earlier backing and potentially sink this vital new EU supply chain law in its final stages. We urge all other states to continue to vote for the bill.

Hannah Storey, Amnesty International’s Policy Advisor on Business and Human Rights

“This legislation is a important step towards better protecting human rights, the climate and the environment. The victims of any U-turn will include people who work under exploitative conditions, who lose their homes due to illegal evictions or who become ill due to environmental pollution.

“Harmonized EU supply chain legislation would help ensure that big companies are not making profits on the back of human suffering, and stop them ignoring human rights abuses in their supply chain and operations, wherever they occur. This legislation has the potential to act as a safeguard against current and future harms, would help deliver justice to existing victims of abuse, and should be adopted.”

Background

The European Parliament, EU Council and European Commission agreed on a compromise text on the legislation in December 2023, which is to be confirmed by the member states in the Council on 9 February. This procedure is normally considered a formality. Germany’s coalition government has previously agreed to support the EU supply chain law, formally known as the European Union Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). However, the Germany government has said it now plans to abstain from the vote, which is tantamount to it voting “no” according to EU Council’s procedures. If other states follow Germany’s example, the law is at risk of failing to secure a required majority in the Council.

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