When German carmakers seek cobalt from Congolese mines or when a chocolatier sources cocoa beans from Ghana, they may soon no longer be able to hide behind their suppliers if it turns out that the producers are using child labour or flouting environmental standards.
Under a new law proposed by the labour and development ministries, companies above a certain size will have to meet social and environmental rules all along their production chains.
The mooted law was spurred on by a deadly fire in a textile factory in Pakistan and a devastating dam collapse at a Brazilian iron ore mine that killed more than 250 people -- both of which had links to German companies.
Three in four Germans back the proposals, and even major employers like car giants BMW and Daimler and coffee chain Tchibo are on board.
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