2023 Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector

Contracts and HREDD Legislation

Feb 14, 2023 | 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Virtual 3


by Responsible Contracting Project, Rutgers Law School It is widely known that contracts are frequently used tools for carrying out human rights and environmental due diligence (HREDD). Frequency of use is not tantamount to effective use, however, and the two should not be confused. The new HREDD laws coming from Europe have raised concern precisely because they appear to rely on contracts as proxies for—not merely components of—HREDD. Otherwise put, the concern is that the new laws will establish a contract-based due diligence regime oriented toward compliance (“tick-box”), rather than an HREDD regime that is supported by due diligence-aligned contracts and oriented toward achieving better HRE outcomes in global supply chains. This side-session will invite legal and business and human rights experts to address the following questions: How are contracts typically used in HREDD? Does contracting-as-usual support effective HREDD -- why / why not? What do the new laws say about contracts and the role they should play in HREDD? Specifically, what do the new laws say about contracts and HREDD-related liability? Against this backdrop, what would you advise in-scope companies to include in their contracts to meet the new legal requirements? Article 12 of the EU’s proposed Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive indicates that the European Commission will develop guidance on model contractual clauses that companies can use to inform their own contracting practices. What are some key principles of due diligence-aligned contracting that you would like to see reflected in this guidance? More generally, what improvements are needed for contracts to better support HREDD regimes that effectively prevent and remedy adverse impacts? Password to watch the recording: b5.a0Y%H

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