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Investors, Public Back UK Due Diligence Law

More than 150 investors and businesses have signed a statement calling on the UK government to create the country’s first environmental and human rights due diligence law. The statement suggested the legislation should be applied to all businesses – regardless of size, sector, operational context, ownership and structure. It also asked for businesses to be legally liable for harm, loss and damage arising from their failure to prevent adverse human rights and environmental impacts within their operations and throughout their global value chains, and for them to adequately compensate victims of abuse. A YouGov poll conducted for the Corporate Justice Coalition – a civil society and trade unions grouping – and environmental justice organisation Friends of the Earth found that four in five UK adults supported the creation of such a law. It also found that 73% of 2,124 surveyed adults thought UK companies should do more to reduce their contribution to global warming, while 60% believed overseas persons subject to human rights abuses and environmental damage arising from their supply chains should be able to seek justice in UK courts. “Climate and ecosystem breakdown are a major threat to human rights, disproportionately impacting the most marginalised and vulnerable communities around the world,” said Clare Oxborrow, Corporate Accountability Campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “A new UK environmental and human rights due diligence law would help tackle these interconnected crises and redress the imbalance between powerful corporations and affected people – wherever they operate.”

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