Wednesday, June 16, 2021
New Article: Human Rights Disclosure and Due Diligence Laws: The Role of Regulatory Oversight in Ensuring Corporate Accountability
Rachel Chambers and Anil Vastardis, Human Rights Disclosure and Due Diligence Laws: The Role of Regulatory Oversight in Ensuring Corporate Accountability, 21 Chicago Journal of International Law (2021). Abstract below.
The proliferation of human rights disclosure and due diligence laws around the globe is a welcome development in the area of business and human rights. Corresponding improvement in conditions for workers and communities in global supply chains whose human rights are impacted by businesses has not materialized, however. In this Article, we focus on the oversight and enforcement features of human rights disclosure and due diligence laws as one of the missing links to achieving the accountability objectives envisaged by such legislation. Drawing on our analysis of key legislative developments, we observe and critique that the state has almost completely withdrawn itself from the oversight and enforcement roles and assigned these crucial accountability functions solely to consumers, civil society, and investors. Without a regulatory mechanism to ensure quality of human rights disclosures and due diligence processes and to impose sanctions for failing to comply with the laws, not only may the disclosures and processes be inadequate, but there is a danger that misleading disclosures and flawed processes may mask harmful impacts and be detrimental to any hopes of vindicating the rights of workers and communities in global supply chains. We offer a new perspective on a more effective approach to oversight and enforcement in which the state should function as a key actor through which consumers, civil society, and investors can hold businesses accountable.