Human Rights and Business, Council Adopts EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy
In the 70th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Council adopted the EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World for 2018.
The dedicated report contains a section on Business on Human Rights, outlining the efforts of the Union to promote a global dialogue on the subject. Discussions took place during human rights dialogues with an increasing number of third countries, particularly in Latin America and Asia, and with regional organisations, such as ASEAN and the African Union.
By the end of 2018, 16 EU Member States (UK; Netherlands; Denmark; Finland; Lithuania; Sweden; Italy; Germany; France; Poland; Spain; Belgium; Czech Republic; Ireland; Luxembourg and Slovenia) had adopted National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights. The EU bases its action on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), that were endorsed unanimously in 2011. They consist of three pillars: “the State duty to protect”; “the corporate responsibility to respect” and “access to remedy”.
Since the beginning of 2018, listed companies, banks and insurance companies with more than 500 employees are required to disclose non-financial information in their management reports pursuant to the EU Directive as regards disclosure of non-financial and diversity information.
This information includes environmental, social and labour aspects, respect for human rights, anticorruption and bribery issues.