The Commercial Organisations and Public Authorities Duty (Human Rights and Environment) Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill introduced by Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench). It would place due diligence obligations concerning human rights and the environment on businesses and public sector bodies. Baroness Young has produced her own explanatory notes for the bill, which describe the purpose of the bill as follows:

In recent years, several countries introduced legislation to incorporate human rights and environmental due diligence into their legal frameworks. For example, in 2017, the French Parliament passed the French Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law, which requires the largest French companies to undertake due diligence to assess and address the adverse impacts of their activities on people and the planet by having them publish annual public vigilance plans. In Germany, the Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains entered into force on 1 January 2023, requiring many German companies to undertake human rights and environmental due diligence in their own business areas and supply chains. Similarly, the European Commission proposed the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive in 2022, and the legislative process of the directive is still underway. This bill seeks to ensure that the UK keeps pace with other countries in implementing human rights and environmental due diligence standards in line with the UNGPs [UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights].

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