Business and human rights, inseparable in the long run

By Camille FratiLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

Luxembourg plans to legislate a due diligence for companies regarding the respect of human rights by all their suppliers and subcontractors. This obligation is inevitable in the long run but difficult to implement, yet it could prove to be an opportunity that neither companies nor the country should miss.


Long defended by NGOs, the duty of care – or due diligence – has made a remarkable breakthrough in public debate and public opinion in recent years. We have to go back to 2011 to find the kick-off of a real international campaign for the respect of human rights by companies. That year, after six years of gestation, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were adopted.

These principles reiterate that states have an obligation to protect populations when companies violate human rights and establish corporate responsibility for respecting human rights. Specifically, this means that a firm should turn its back on a supplier or subcontractor that uses child labour, practices forced labour, creates undignified working conditions or endangers the local population by discharging pollutants into the water.

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Business and human rights, inseparable in the long run

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