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Human Rights

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL6550, tabled on 1 March 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights Human Rights and Business 2017: Promoting responsibility and ensuring accountability (Session 2016–17, HL Paper 153), what steps they will take to introduce a mandatory human rights and due diligence law.

Answered on

15 March 2022

The UK has a strong record on human rights protection, much of which results from our framework of legislation. The UK already requires companies to undertake due diligence on sustainability matters under existing legislation on corporate transparency. UK listed companies are required to report on relevant environmental, social and governance aspects in their annual reports. Large businesses are also required to publish supply chain transparency statements on steps they have taken to ensure that no modern slavery or human trafficking is taking place in their business or through their supply chains. Both reporting requirements compel disclosure of a company’s due diligence arrangements where these are in place.

In certain circumstances, companies can already be held liable for breaches of duties of care to others where harm is suffered as a foreseeable consequence of the breach.