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Article

21 Oct 2021

Author:
Treaty Alliance Germany

From the Supply Chain Act towards an international Level Playing Field

…[This] statement contains recommendations that the German government should take into consideration in the upcoming negotiations within the EU and the inter-governmental working group at the UN Human Rights Council…

… [C]urrent discussions at the level of the…(OECD) and the EU also refer to sustainable supply chains and supply chain regulation which takes environmental aspects into account. Likewise, the German Supply Chain Act provides for environmental due diligence obligations in relation to three environmental agreements ratified by Germany… At a time when environmental and climate protection are at the top of the political agenda worldwide, the UN agreement must not fall behind these debates…

…It is to be welcomed that the particular difficulties [on access to legal remedies] that arise due to gender or membership of a vulnerable or marginalized group are now to be taken into account…In the German Supply Chain Act, for example, a new form of legal representation on another’s behalf was created that enables German non-governmental organizations and trade unions to sue in their own name for the claims of those affected, thus facilitating the enforcement of rights…

…The revision of the draft should therefore include a state commitment to carry out human rights and environmental impact assessments before and during the negotiations. In addition, trade agreements should include a human rights exception clause to clarify that trade rules must not undermine or restrict the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights at the domestic or foreign level.

…The establishment of an international court of justice, before which those affected can sue the companies and/or states involved in the case of infringements and the exhaustion of national legal protection possibilities, should be pursued further.

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