AK EUROPA, the Brussels Office of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour, ÖGB Europabüro, the Brussels Office of the Austrian Trade Union Federation, the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) cordially invite you to the following event:
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” While human rights are meant to be universal, there is a North-South gradient on a global scale. This becomes apparent especially when human rights are violated in a business context. Corporations operate on a global level. Complex corporate structures and supply chains make it hard to attribute responsibility to parent companies for human rights violations in their global operations. In the “Kik” lawsuit (fire in a Pakistan textile factory in 2012 with a death toll of more than 250) for example the victims came away empty-handed after years of trial because the competent German court held that their claims were time-barred according to Pakistani law.
Several EU member states and Switzerland have started to adopt or consider legislation that requires companies to prevent and address human rights and environmental impacts in their global operations and supply chains. In France the first lawsuit according to the new law is now pending. Since 2014 a binding Treaty on business on human rights is being negotiated in the UN Human Rights council. The EU should engage constructively in the negotiations and is also overdue to advance a legislative proposal on a European level. In this event, we will discuss options at national, European and global level to make corporations change their behaviour for the better.
Isabelle Schömann, ETUC Confederal Secretary
Claudia Saller, European Coalition for Corporate Justice
Heidi Hautala, Member to the European Parliament
Maija Laurila, European Commission
Juliette Renaud, Friends of the Earth France
Thomas Wagnsonner, European Economic and Social Committee
Sarah Bruckner, Austrian Chamber of Labour
The discussion will take place in German and English with simultaneous translation.
After the discussion, we invite you to a buffet reception.