The advancement of mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence legal frameworks in Europe: Switzerland as a future Taillight?

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Müller, Elena
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The development of mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) legislation has increased in Europe in recent years. More and more States adopt domestic laws in this regard and abandon the idea of relying solely on companies’ voluntary compliance with the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs). However, this has led to a fragmented legal landscape and in order to ensure a level playing field the European Union (EU) has reinforced its harmonization efforts. The latter have resulted in the adoption of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the European Commission’s Proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). This paper will analyse the Swiss domestic HRDD legislation within this changing legal landscape. At the domestic level the French Duty of Vigilance Act, Dutch Child Labour Due Diligence Act, German Supply Chain Act, and Norwegian Transparency Act will be analysed with regards to the protected legal positions, their scope, obligations and enforcement mechanisms, whereas at the regional level the CSRD and CSDDD proposal will be examined. A comparative analysis between the Swiss Federal Ordinance on Conflict Minerals and Child Labour and resulting Code of Obligation provisions (as well as the rejected preceding proposals) and these domestic and regional legislations serves as a basis for the concluding recommendations for Swiss policy-makers.
Second semester University:  University of Seville
Europe, corporate responsibility, business, human rights, domestic and comparative law, European Union, Switzerland