“Duty of Vigilance Radar” 2022 findings

Paris, December 20th, 2022While a proposal for a European legislation on the duty of vigilance is being debated in Brussels, CCFD-Terre Solidaire and Sherpa publish an update of the “Duty of Vigilance Radar” for 2022.

Faced with the opacity from which the companies fully benefit, the “Duty of Vigilance Radar” aims to contribute to the monitoring of the law on the duty of vigilance, by identifying companies subjected to this obligation, by facilitating access to vigilance plans, and by compiling resources and updates on the various legal actions taken against companies on the basis of this law.

The 2022 update includes the vigilance plans published this year by companies and underlines the legal actions taken since the 2021 update, including the formal notices sent to McDonald’s, Total and BNP Paribas, and the lawsuits against La Poste, Idemia and Yves Rocher.

This valuable research echoes with the current discussions on the European due diligence Directive (Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence directive / CSDDD).

According to the research conducted by Sherpa and CCDF-Terre Solidaire, some large companies such as Lactalis, Bigard or Altrad still have not publish vigilance plans. It is therefore crucial that the European Directive sets a clear scope, based on publicly available information, so that no company can take advantage of their own opacity or rely on legal vagueness to escape their obligations.

Many companies still perceive the publication of a vigilance plan as a formality, and exempt themselves from the obligation to establish concrete and effective measures to respect human rights and the environment in their value chain. The European due diligence legislation must not allow companies to avoid responsibility by relying on formal processes (codes of conduct, social audits, contractual clauses, etc.) that have already proven their inefficiency.

The legal actions initiated by affected individuals, trade unions and associations are crucial to enforce the law, prevent future violations and allow access to compensation in case of damage. It is also necessary for the future European directive to hold liable companies that do not respect their obligations and to facilitate effective access to justice for victims.

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