25 maggio 2022, ore 15.00 • Fondazione Marco Biagi
BERYL PHILINE TER HAAR, UW Prof. and Head of the Centre for International and European Labour Law Studies (CIELLS) at the University of Warsaw and Endowed Prof. European and Comparative Labour Law at the University of Groningen
IACOPO SENATORI, Economics Department Marco Biagi, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
The idea that transnational enterprises are responsible for the social and environmental impacts of their business operations is something that gained ground during the 1990s. Often triggered by a disaster or scandal, these enterprises started to make statements that they value human and labour rights and the environment. This practice became known as corporate social responsibility (CSR) or responsible business conduct (RBC), and currently, Environment, Social, Governance (ESG). However, a statement alone is not going to prevent disasters or scandals from happening, like the collapse of the building on Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in April 2013, resulting in the death of over 1100 workers and many more getting seriously injured. Therefore, next steps in CSR/RBC/ESG include monitoring of the social and environmental activities of transnational enterprises. The latest development in this is human rights due diligence (HRDD). HRDD is a form of risk management that is introduced by the United Nations, strongly promoted by the Organization of Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD) and embraced by various states within the European Union (EU), as well as the EU itself with its proposal for mandatory HRDD. During the seminar we will trace this development which can be labelled as “hardening of soft law” and discuss whether this is a desired development: has HRDD put us on a path of the regulation of “rules without rights”?