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The Rise of Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence in the Supply Chain

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WHITE PAPER The rise of mandatory human rights due diligence: New regulations extend corporate liability across groups and their supply chain by Arnaud Poitevin Abstract The French law known as known as "Devoir de Vigilance", or "duty of care", imposes on the largest French companies a mandatory due diligence plan aimed at preventing human rights harms caused by their activities, those of their subsidiaries, sub- contractors and suppliers. An estimated 100 to 200 companies are impacted by the law. The law could create a domino effect and similar provisions could be adopted in Switzerland and possibly, at a later stage, at the European Union level. The paper summarizes the main laws and regulations imposing obligations on companies for activities and practices in their supply chain. The mobilization of civil society organizations on these initiatives advocating for binding legal frameworks and civil, and even potentially criminal, liability is getting increasingly strong.

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