Publication Date



Globalization has, over the past decades, erased borders between continents and countries. It has propelled international trade to previously unforeseen heights. Nonetheless, it has brought about not only positive impact, but also negative consequences for individuals and communities worldwide. Businesses have often been alleged to have been directly or indirectly involved in human rights violations. On the other hand, rights-holders have often found it difficult to enforce corporate human rights obligations and accountability either at home or abroad. Nonetheless, the field of business and human rights has in recent years witnessed seminal developments from the adoption of binding laws in the domestic system to the advancement of negotiations on the potential UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights. This article portrays and examines the Business and Human Rights Due Diligence Standard-Setting in the European Union. First, it describes and analyses the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive, which obliges larger corporations to annually submit reports on compliance with the non-financial indicators. Secondly, it describes and comments on the supply chain due diligence obligations under the EU Conflict Mineral Regulation. Thirdly, it discusses recent developments within the European Union to develop and adopt the potential general Directive on Corporate Accountability and Due Diligence, which promises to impose due diligence human rights obligations on all businesses. All in all, the EU’s objectives for socio-economic development rest on sustainability, green economy, and digitalization. For the EU and its Member States to achieve those goals, the private sector and businesses need to subscribe to those non-financial indicators. Finally, this article argues that the binding legislation within the EU and its Member States on human rights due diligence in the global business supply chain will provide impetus for regulation in other regions and domestic legal systems.

First Page