note: Shamistha Selvaratnam is a LLM Candidate of the Advanced Masters of
European and International Human Rights Law at Leiden University in the
Netherlands. Prior to commencing the LLM, she worked as a business and human
rights solicitor in Australia where she specialised in promoting business
respect for human rights through engagement with policy, law and practice.
This report compiles all relevant news,
events and materials on Doing Business Right based on the coverage provided on
our twitter feed @DoinBizRight and on various websites. You are invited to
contribute to this compilation via the comments section below, feel free to add
links to important cases, documents and articles we may have overlooked.
Development Ministry drafts mandatory human rights due diligence
It was reported
on 10 February 2019 that the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation
and Development has drafted legislation (unpublished) on mandatory human rights
due diligence for German companies. It is reported that the law will apply to
companies with over 250 employees and more than €40 million in annual sales.
The draft legislation targets, inter alia, the agriculture, energy, mining,
textile, leather and electronics production sectors. Companies that fall within
the scope of the legislation will be required to undertake internal risk
assessments to identify where human rights risks lie in their supply chains.
Companies would also be required to have a Compliance Officer to ensure
compliance with due diligence requirements. The Labor Inspectorate, the Federal
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Human Rights Commissioner
of the Federal Government would be responsible for enforcing the legislation,
with penalties for non-compliance of up to €5 million (as well as imprisonment
and exclusion from public procurement in Germany).
case heard in the Netherlands
On 12 February 2019, the Dutch courts heard
a lawsuit involving Esther Kiobel and three other women against Shell. The
plaintiffs allege that Shell was complicity in the 1995 killings of their
husbands by Nigeria’s military. The husbands were Ogoni activists that were
part of the mass protests against oil pollution in Nigeria’s Ogoniland. The
judgment is expected to be handed down in May 2019. Read more here.
UN and International Organisations
publications and statements
NGO, Human Rights Organisations and Law
Firm publications and statements
Government press releases and
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