Human Rights Due Diligence

What is Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD)?

Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) is an approach by which companies minimise their negative impacts on human rights and maximise their positive impacts. This applies to their own operations, and also the suppliers and services used by the company.

HRDD is the process of identifying, assessing, preventing, mitigating and remedying negative human rights impacts, and being accountable for how the company has done this.

Negative human rights impacts are related to internationally recognised human rights, as enshrined in the International Bill of Human Rights and the fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) These conventions include protection against forced and child labour, the right to health, the right to collective bargaining and the right not to be discriminated against. In addition, companies must not adversely affect indigenous peoples’ land or cultural rights, employees’ freedom of thought, and the right to a healthy environment.

Who is the HRDD relevant for?

In 2011, the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights were published, stating that companies must respect human rights. These Guiding Principles are based on the HRDD.

More and more national laws require companies to conduct human rights due diligence. Moreover, the HRDD has been integrated into the EU Green Deal, meaning that the HRDD is required to comply with the EU taxonomy and is also a central part of the disclosure requirements of the CSRD. Read our article on EU taxonomy for more information.

Why is it important?

The EU will soon adopt its own mandatory HRDD legislation that will require all large companies in the EU to implement HRDD.