BHR lawyers and practitioners call for support for the Belgium compromise on the CSDDD

We are Business and Human Rights (BHR) lawyers and practitioners that work with  companies, academia, NGOs and state institutions to implement human rights and environmental due diligence in order to foster responsible and sustainable business practices that uphold respect for human rights and environmental standards throughout global value chains.

Stakeholders involved in this field and their representatives both in the European Union and beyond have repeatedly expressed a shared desire to formalize in a EU-level legislation the core elements of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) which were unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 and have become the global norm of reference in the field. A growing number of countries, both within the EU and beyond, have already taken steps to implement the UNGPs. Following in their footsteps, the Draft Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDDD) aims to require companies to respect human rights and environmental standards in their activities and in their value chain. In doing so, it will not only be a step towards alignment with international standards set out in the UNGPs and other international instruments, but it will also provide more legal certainty by resulting in a uniformized standard at the EU level rather than a patchwork of legislation with varying standards in the various Member States.

The current draft of the  CSDDD covers both large EU companies and companies based outside the EU which are active in the EU market. As such, the CSDDD creates a harmonized set of rules for all large companies operating in the EU, providing a much needed global level playing field and upholding the protection of all internationally recognized human rights.

We have carefully examined the most recent  compromise offered by the Belgian Presidency and call on all Member States to accept it. This call is despite the fact that the changes introduced in the last few weeks significantly reduce the scope of the  applicability of the CSDDD.

Indeed, even though many important provisions protecting human rights and the environment have been diluted, the current compromise for CSDDD still provides for Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence (HREDD) across the supply chain, climate transition, rightsholder engagement and redress. It is feasible for companies, as it creates an obligation of means and implementable obligations, allowing companies to prioritize through a risk-based approach. The compromise also avoids overburdening SMEs as it does not cover them and ensures special support and protections for SME suppliers. We hope that those businesses for whom HREDD is still quite a new topic might welcome this compromise as workable.

We understand that in a political organization as complex and important as the EU, especially in the difficult context worldwide, a compromise is a necessity and politics will always be the art of the possible.

Therefore, we believe the Belgian proposal to be a necessary compromise.

In this perspective, we call on all EU Member States to support the latest CSDDD compromise made by the Belgian Presidency of the EU and, for this, we call on BHR experts from the EU and from around the world to signal their support for this version.

This compromise is an important step for our collective aspirations for business practices, which are transparent and committed to respecting human rights and the environment and contributes to give the “human face to the market” through respect of fundamental rights of people that Kofi Annan and John Ruggie have tirelessly defended through the UNGPs.

Let us not waste this chance, but adopt it, to enable a fairer and more inclusive economy which reconciles Business and Human Rights and the dignity of people, to ensure that business serves not only profits but people and the planet.



Stéphane Brabant – France

Céline Da Graça Pires – France

Daniel Schönfelder – Germany

Theresa Gigov – Austria/Germany

Serra Cremer Iyi – Germany

Michaela Streibelt – Germany

Claire Bright – France

Juho Saloranta – Finland

Lisa Szeponik – Germany

Martijn Scheltema – Netherlands

Beata Faracik – Poland

James Sinclair – United Kingdom

Lara Douvartzidis – Australia

Gilles Lhuilier – France

John Sherman – USA

Eugénie Denat – France

Pam Ly – USA

Markus Krajewski – Germany

Olena Uvarova – Ukraine

Arnaud de Nanteuil – France

Daniel Iglesias Márquez – Mexico

Caroline Omari Lichuma – Kenya/Luxembourg

Salli Swartz – France/USA

Roberto Randazzo – Italy

Michael D. Goldhaber – USA

Angelica Bonfanti- Italy

Elise Groulx Diggs – Canada

Laura Íñigo Álvarez- Spain

Maria Izabel Cardozo – Switzerland/ Brazil

Alison Berthet – United Kingdom/France

Gilles de Sorbay – France

Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan – France

Jernej Letnar Černič – Slovenia

Claire de Hauteclocque – France

Carmen Márquez Carrasco – Spain

Doug Cassel – USA

Nicola Bonucci – France/Italy

Don DeAmicis – USA

Stephanie Borowiec – Germany

Çiğdem Çımrın – Türkiye

Pınar Kara – France/Turkiye

Cecilia Barral Diego – Germany

Clara Pacce P. Serva – Brazil

Roxana Family – France

Nadia Bernaz – Netherlands

Victoria de Mello – Ethiopia

Eckart von Malsen – Paris

Antoine Heuty – France

Nora Wolters – Germany

Scott Wilson Badenoch, Jr. – USA

François de Cambiaire – France

Sébastien Mabile – France

Olivia Windham Stewart – United Kingdom

Julián Tole Martinez – Colombia

Jose Fernando Gómez Rojas – Colombia

Bartosz Kwiatkowski – Poland

Estelle Levin-Nally – Guernesey

Nina Luzzatto Gardner – USA

Weronika Nalbert – Poland

András L. Pap – Hungary

Farid Baddache – France

Marco Fasciglione – Italy

Paul M Redmond – United Kingdom

Tricia D. Olsen – USA

Edie Hofmeister – USA

Claire Lynch – United Kingdom

Chip Pitts – USA

Bonny Ling – United Kingdom

Larry Catá Backer – USA

Anna Triponel – United Kingdom

Vanessa Zimmerman – Australia

Yvonne Khor – Malaysia

Gurgen Petrossian – Germany

Joanne Bauer – USA

Elisa Giuliani  – Italy

Rita Delgado Correcher – Spain

Samentha  Goethals – France

Justine Nolan – Australia

Andreas Rasche – Denmark

Nicolas Bueno – Switzerland

Marta Bordignon – Italy

Klaus Eisenreich – Cyprus

Tomasz Wróblewski – Poland

Maria Pia Sacco – Italy

Tara van Ho – United Kingdom

Diana Sanabria – Germany/Colombia

Daisuke Takahashi – Japan

Tatjana Klaus-Nowak – Germany

Mārtiņš Birģelis – Latvia

Alise Artamonova – Latvia

Laura Valle – Italy

Olya Peneva – Bulgaria

Leonard Feld – Denmark

Chiara Macchi – Netherlands

Richard sedillot – France

Tone Sørfonn Moe – Norway

Theresa Quiachon – Germany

Anil Yilmaz Vastardis – United Kingdom

Ana Maria Uribe Restrepo – United Kingdom / Colombia

Johanna Imiela – Germany

Claire Deniau – France

Liesbeth Unger – Netherlands

Cathrine Bloch Veiberg – Denmark

Peter Muchlinski – United Kingdom

Colleen Theron – United Kingdom

Richard Gardiner – Ireland

Larissa Dietrich – Germany

Karin Buhmann – Denmark

Gabrielle Holly – Denmark/Australia/United Kingdom

Ioana Tuta – Denmark

Anna Czornik-Sęczkowska – Poland

Lori Stamm – Costa Rica

Jenny Vaughan – United States

Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt – United States

Anita Dorett – United States / Singapore

Sarah Dadush – United States

Florencia Wegher Osci – Argentina 

Manon Wolfkamp – The Netherlands