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Jordi Boixareu / Alamy Stock Photo
Jordi Boixareu / Alamy Stock Photo
World News

Global faith leaders urge EU to hold Western companies accountable for environmental harm and human rights abuses

by Kelly Valencia

More than 160 faith leaders worldwide have written a letter to European Union lawmakers urging them to establish a robust legal framework that ensures companies are held accountable for environmental damage and human rights abuses in the global south.

“We come together from different faiths united in our common effort to care for creation,” the letter said.

“Our brothers and sisters from around the world have been denouncing the negative impacts of corporations on their communities and territories and demanding action…They are the ones who witness corporate activities destroying their territories and causing displacement, the disruption of traditional lifeways and the violation of workers’ rights.”

Released by the International Co-operation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE), the statement is in response to the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) proposal,  which will require firms to monitor the impact of their activities in countries in the global south.

The draft bill is currently being debated by the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission. Once discussed and adopted, EU member states will have two years to implement it into national legislation.

For the religious leaders, the current proposal “fails to acknowledge the specific impact human rights abuses have on women and indigenous people” and want “stakeholder consultation” as they believe companies “should always engage with relevant and affected stakeholders when they carry out their due diligence obligations”.

The signatories include Roman Catholic bishops and Christian and Jewish representatives.

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