Perhaps more than most years, 2021 has been filled with an array of difficult-to-predict business and human rights challenges. By 2022, rapid changes in business and human rights (and ESG more generally) add an additional degree of difficulty to developing a list of the top 10 issues related to business and human rights. man for the next calendar year. With that in mind, and in the bold spirit of Human Rights Day, we offer such a list, plus a bonus number, in no particular order. The list includes new regulatory obligations, new recognized rights, 2021 themes that will continue into next year, and some old but goodies.
- New regulatory obligations: mandatory due diligence
Throughout 2021, the prospect of mandatory human rights due diligence laws being passed across Europe was a dominant theme. The concept of due diligence goes beyond human rights transparency laws, such as the California Supply Chain Transparency Act, or UK or Australian modern slavery laws. Under due diligence laws, companies must undertake positive assessments to identify their risks, institute measures to mitigate any negative impacts, assess the effectiveness of their measures, and publicly report on their approaches.