Watch FIDH’s webinar on Recent Developments in Corporate Accountability

28/06/2021
Press release
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On Friday, 18 June 2021, FIDH organised an online event where it presented the new, revamped web version of its Guide on Corporate Accountability and recourse mechanisms for victims and NGOs. A panel of experts and activists joined us to discuss the latest developments in corporate accountability, share their lessons learned and perspectives about the next steps for the business and human rights field. The event was attended by over 100 participants from around the world.

The discussion was moderated by Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty & Human Rights and Maddalena Neglia, head of FIDH’s Globalisation & Human Rights Desk. It was divided into three panels:

- In the first, Annalisa Savaresi, Associate Professor in International environmental law at the University of Stirling and Hasminah Paudac, Legal Advisor to the climate justice and liability campaign at Greenpeace, spoke about the rise of climate litigation, including legal actions against companies for their contribution to climate change. Panelists touched upon the recent groundbreaking ruling against Shell in the Netherlands, as well as the inquiry of the national human rights institution of the Philippines into the the human rights impacts of climate change in the Philippines and the contribution of 47 Carbon Major companies to those impacts, in which Hasminah Paudac played a key role.

- In the second panel on civil liability, Miriam Saage-Maass, Vice Legal Director and Program Director Business & Human Rights at ECCHR and Lucas Roorda, Lecturer at Utrecht University commented on recent developments regarding civil liability of parent companies for Human Rights violations in their supply chain, including the latest cases in the UK and Dutch Courts, but also shared their thoughts about the recent Nestle decision by the US Supreme Court.

- In the third, Emmanuel Daoud, co-founder and Partner at Vigo Avocats law firm in Paris and Montse Ferrer, Business & Human Rights researcher and advisor at Amnesty International discussed about corporate criminal liability. They pointed out the increasing number of criminal cases filed against companies and that avenues do exist in various criminal systems to hold parent companies liable, but stressed that there is still an urgent need for a political will to allow criminal systems to adequately hold corporate entities accountable for crimes.

Two member of the Working Group on Business & Human Rights, Anita Ramasastry and Surya Deva (the Working Group’s Vice-chair) gave closing remarks. On the week of the 10 years after the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, they spoke about the state of remedy in the field of business and human rights, the progress made in standard-setting in the last decade, but also the long path ahead of us and the UN Working Group plans in this respect.

Watch the recording (in English)

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