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Press releases Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Türk urges alignment between EU, UN rules on business and human rights

27 October 2023

GENEVA (27 October 2023) - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk today urged European Union institutions currently finalizing a major new piece of legislation on corporate human rights due diligence to ensure it is aligned with internationally-accepted UN standards on business and human rights.

The Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, which is being negotiated at the European Union, will require certain EU and non-EU companies to identify and address adverse human rights and environmental risks.

“I welcome the fact that the EU is moving to legally entrench human rights due diligence for businesses across its 27-member bloc. European businesses have a very important role to play in respecting human rights, and the directive will provide an important instrument legally mandating them to do so,” said Türk.

“However, for the directive to be effective in addressing human rights risks, it must align with the global consensus for corporate human rights due diligence set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.”

A position paper by the UN Human Rights Office details the essential areas where alignment between the two instruments is critical to ensure risks of adverse human rights impacts are mitigated, and their root causes identified and addressed.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are the global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights involving business activity. Adopted in 2011, they provide the internationally accepted framework for enhancing standards and practices regarding business and human rights.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva

Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

In Nairobi

Seif Magango - +254 788 343 897 / [email protected]

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