The national campaign for a European directive that requires companies to protect human rights and the environment, preventing any abuse directly linked to their economic activities or those of their suppliers, Impresa2030, Let’s get regulated, kicks off today, 21 October.
The European Commission is already working on the text of the Directive which will be presented by the end of the year to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, and the promoting organizations are pushing for Italian Ministers and MEPs to support a strong and effective proposal, without giving in to pressure from those industrial sectors that oppose clear obligations and responsibilities. In this very perspective, there are numerous twin campaigns born or in the start-up phase in a dozen other member states of the European Union.
Impresa2030, Let’s get regulated is promoted by a network of organizations already committed to the defense of human rights in their daily actions; they are: ActionAid Italia, Equo Garantito, Fair, Focsiv, Fondazione Finanza Etica, Human Rights International Corner (HRIC), Mani Tese, Oxfam Italia, Save the Children and WeWorld.
Multinational companies today find themselves operating all over the world in a context of substantial impunity – declares Giosuè De Salvo (Mani Tese), spokesperson for the campaign – Many of them are involved in environmental devastation, systematic violations of workers’ rights, expulsions of indigenous peoples and exploitation of child labor.
Three of the most significant figures are mentioned: the 16 million people subjected to modern forms of slavery along the global production chains; the 287 human rights defenders killed, in 2020 alone, because they were committed to defending the environment and indigenous peoples from high-impact economic initiatives; the top 20 energy companies in the world that have emitted 35% of greenhouse gases from 1965 to date.
Precisely considering these data, the proposal for a directive from the European Commission will arrive. This will be a due diligence rule, which will require companies to adopt effective policies and practices in ensuring that human rights and ecosystems are not infringed either within their own operations or within their global supply chains.
When the Commission has drafted the directive, it will be important to avoid that during the negotiation between Member States and the European Parliament, the source text is weakened – says Martina Rogato (HRIC), co-spokesperson of the campaign – Therefore, as organizations of the civil society we launched this campaign, and with it an appeal, addressed to Italian and European political decision-makers, to whom we ask to be bearers of a new business culture, which puts the rights of people and the environment first, subordinating profits to them.
The campaign requires – as envisaged by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – that the directive includes three fundamental axes: the duty of States to protect against abuse and violations; the responsibility of companies, to enforce human rights at all stages of their supply chain; access to justice by victims of violations.
The activity of the next few months will be dedicated to raising awareness of public opinion and the mass media, to activating other associations and citizens and to the pressure towards the institutions which will be responsible for the final decisions.
Sign the appeal on impresa2030.org.
My name is Giosuè De Salvo. In life, I am an activist and for work, since 2010, I am the responsible for the Advocacy, Education and Campaigns Area in Mani Tese. After a degree in business economics, two years of strategic advice and a master in international relations, I arrived through an ad on lunaria.org (do you remember?) straight to the heart […]