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Over half a million people tell the EU to hold business accountable

Over 80 percent of citizens from across multiple EU countries want strong laws to hold companies liable for overseas human rights and environmental violations. People affected by such corporate driven abuses must be allowed to take the companies responsible to court in Europe, according to a YouGov poll released today.

The results – from nine EU countries including Spain, Germany and Slovenia – come ahead of the European Commission’s expected announcement of a new human rights and environmental due diligence law, which would apply to the value chains of all companies that operate in the EU.

The survey found that:

  • 87% of citizens agreed that companies should be legally obliged to not get involved in human rights violations – such as forced labour or land grabbing.
  • 86% agreed that companies should be legally obliged not to contribute to environmental harms – such as air pollution or destruction of biodiversity – outside the EU.
  • 86% agreed that when companies do cause or contribute to human rights violations and environmental crimes around the world, they should be legally liable.
  • When told examples of environmental and human rights abuses outside the EU, 84% agreed that victims should be allowed to take the companies responsible to court in the country in which they are based.
  • There was consistently high support from across the 9 EU countries polled – from the Czech Republic and Slovenia, to Spain and the Netherlands.


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