Human rights due diligence in business – well advised by corsus

The international community and the German government have recognised that companies have a significant responsibility to respect human rights in the supply chain.

Human rights due diligence in business was developed in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights 2011 and has been increasingly recognised since its inclusion in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises 2011. As a result, the German Parliament passed the Act on Corporate Due Diligence to Prevent Human Rights Violations in Supply Chains (Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, “LkSG”) in July 2021. This Act applies to companies, regardless of their legal form, that have their head office, principal place of business, administrative headquarters, statutory seat or branch office in Germany. From 2023, it applies to businesses that employ at least 3,000 workers in Germany, with the threshold dropping to 1,000 employees in 2024.

In order to assume responsibility for respecting human rights, companies should address five aspects of corporate due diligence. By means of a declaration of principles, the company publicly states that it respects and strengthens human rights. It identifies risks along the supply chains, develops measures and procedures to avoid them throughout the supply chain and promotes respect for human rights. In addition, the company creates grievance mechanisms for those affected by human rights violations. this could be done in cooperation with other companies or non-governmental organisations or trade unions.

The protection of human rights is thus not only a legal requirement to be complied with. The Act also provides strategic steps that companies can implement in their corporate culture, regardless of size or product.

corsus has been advising companies on their social and environmental responsibility in the supply chain for many years. We use our in-depth expertise and experience to design and accompany processes for human rights compliance in the supply chain. corsus clarifies the responsibility for human rights due diligence in the company, introduces businesses to the topic and addresses central questions on the concept of human rights. Together with representatives of the company, the supply chain is analysed in regards to its organisation, structure and existing human rights risks. Pivotal structures and important docking points in the company are identified in order to prepare and implement the further process of human rights due diligence in the company. More and more companies, regardless of their size, are tackling human rights topics and contact corsus. We provide them with in-depth advice on all important levels of human rights due diligence.

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