Copyright: Peter Toporowski/Flickr. Downing street sign with fence

September 2022: Letter to UK PM Truss calls for mandated human rights and environmental due diligence

Countries across Europe, and the EU itself, are introducing new human rights and environmental due diligence laws. The EU’s proposed Directive, tabled in February 2022, is expected to apply to large UK businesses operating in the Single Market.

On September 30, 2022, the eve of the Conservative Party Conference, 63 leading businesses, investors and civil society organizations have written to Prime Minister Liz Truss, calling for the UK Government to “urgently introduce a new law requiring companies to carry out human rights and environmental due diligence (HREDD) across their operations and value chains”.

The letter states: “…UK businesses, investors and other financial actors have a responsibility to respect our shared human rights and the environment. The process of continuously conducting robust human rights and environmental due diligence (HREDD) is a core requirement for businesses and investors in fulfilling that responsibility…

“…The UK now has a clear opportunity to retain its leading role on this issue and to shape global business conduct for the better - rather than following the footsteps of others. Yet, we are concerned that the UK Government is yet to confirm plans for a new UK law on this issue. Instead, it has repeatedly cited its support for voluntary frameworks - despite the gaps that voluntary approaches leave in regulating global business conduct. Continuing on this path will position the UK as a laggard on these issues, creating an uneven playing field for UK businesses operating in these markets and following these new, mandatory rules…”

Please read the letter here.


Header photo courtesy of Peter Toporowski/Flickr.