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Human rights and environmental due diligence: The way forward for responsible business
Tuesday, 24th September 2019, 18:30h , Brussels
AK EUROPA, the Brussels Office of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour, ÖGB Europabüro, the Brussels Office of the Austrian Trade Union Federation, the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) cordially invite you to the following event:

Tuesday, 24th September 2019, 18:30h
Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU
Avenue de Cortenbergh 30 , 1040 Brussels

Yes, I will attend the event

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” While human rights are meant to be universal, there is a North-South gradient on a global scale. This becomes apparent especially when human rights are violated in a business context. Corporations operate on a global level. Complex corporate structures and supply chains make it hard to attribute responsibility to parent companies for human rights violations in their global operations. In the “Kik” lawsuit (fire in a Pakistan textile factory in 2012 with a death toll of more than 250) for example the victims came away empty-handed after years of trial because the competent German court held that their claims were time-barred according to Pakistani law.

Several EU member states and Switzerland have started to adopt or consider legislation that requires companies to prevent and address human rights and environmental impacts in their global operations and supply chains. In France the first lawsuit according to the new law is now pending. Since 2014 a binding Treaty on business on human rights is being negotiated in the UN Human Rights council. The EU should engage constructively in the negotiations and is also overdue to advance a legislative proposal on a European level. In this event, we will discuss options at national, European and global level to make corporations change their behaviour for the better.


Welcome words:

Isabelle Schömann, ETUC Confederal Secretary

Key note:

Claudia Saller, European Coalition for Corporate Justice

Panel discussion:

Heidi Hautala, Member to the European Parliament

Maija Laurila, European Commission

Juliette Renaud, Friends of the Earth France

Thomas Wagnsonner, European Economic and Social Committee


Sarah Bruckner, Austrian Chamber of Labour

The discussion will take place in German and English with simultaneous translation.

After the discussion, we invite you to a buffet reception.