Magazine article New Internationalist

Historic Law Approved

Magazine article New Internationalist

Historic Law Approved

Article excerpt

A new French law, which could ensure better human rights and environmental protection for ordinary citizens, has been given the go-ahead, despite the opposition of private-sector lobbies.

The law, which was passed on 21 February, has been hailed a victory of civil society over corporate power and makes duty of care legally binding for parent and subcontracting companies across the whole manufacturing supply chain. It has been welcomed by campaigners, who say it is a 'historic' step towards improving corporate respect for human rights and the environment. It is hoped that the law will help prevent tragedies such as the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which killed over 1,100 garment workers in 2013.

'The victory of French civil society shows how people power can lead to the end of transnational corporate impunity. Building binding rules from the bottom up will have implications for the world's largest companies, obliging them to respect human rights in a way they have never had to before,' said Lucia Ortiz of Friends of the Earth International. …

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