Respecting Rights or Ticking Boxes? The Role of Auditing and Certification in legislating HRDD
Online, 13. Februar 2023
The webinar took place on Monday 13th February 2023. The recording is available on YouTube.
Momentum to enact mandatory human rights due diligence (HRDD) legislation is building around the world. A key point of consideration from the perspective of garment industry is the role of auditing and certification in the implementation of future rules, and these actors’ own accountability.
As they design the crucial legal framework on due diligence, EU legislators must determine how to turn the normative multilateral standards defined in the UN Guiding Principles and OECD Guidelines into binding, hard-law obligations. Lawmakers must strike a good balance between establishing a solid normative baseline while also allowing for practical flexibility to ensure that due diligence laws bring the positive change that people and the planet need.
As a practical example of the challenges and choices that legislators are facing, this OECD Forum side session looks specifically into expectations and risks of social auditing and certification schemes in human rights due diligence systems. We will unpack the roles and responsibilities of companies, social auditors and other stakeholders. Speakers from Human Rights Watch and SOMO will present results of recent research.
Invited commentators from the European Parliament and civil society and webinar participants will discuss civil society recommendations on the role of social auditing and certification in HRDD legislation.
- Joseph Wilde-Ramsing, Senior Researcher, SOMO
- Aruna Kashyap, Associate Director on Corporate Accountability, Human Rights Watch
- Lara Wolters, MEP, Vice-Chair Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI)
- Elspeth Hathaway, Senior Policy Advisor, industriAll Europe
The panel will be followed by an open discussion.
- Clean Clothes Campaign, ECCHR, Public Eye and SOMO (2022): Respecting Rights or Ticking Boxes? Legislating Human Rights Due Diligence.
- SOMO (2022): A piece, not a proxy. The European Commission’s dangerous overreliance on industry schemes, multi-stakeholder initiatives, and third-party auditing in the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.
- Human Rights Watch (2022): “Obsessed with Audit Tools, Missing the Goal”. Why Social Audits Can’t Fix Labor Rights Abuses in Global Supply Chains.
- CCC (2019): Fig Leaf for Fashion. How social auditing protects brands and fails workers.
- ECCHR, Brot für die Welt and Misereor (2021): Human rights fitness of the auditing and certification industry? A cross-sectoral analysis of current challenges and possible responses.