'Corporate Human Rights and Environmental Protection Act'

반올림
2023-09-12
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“…the Act legislates a series of processes for the five elements of corporate human rights and environmental due diligence: establishment and internalization of human rights policy; human rights impact assessment; establishment and implementation of human rights management system; monitoring and disclosure; and a grievance mechanism.” 

 

https://www.shinailbo.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=1753839  


Shina Daily 

2 September 2023 

 

Rep. Chung Tae-ho holds press conference to introduce 'Corporate Human Rights and Environmental Protection Act' 

Heo In 

 

Asia's first bill to require human rights and environmental due diligence for businesses 

Expecting Korea to lead the way in business and human rights as befits an advanced economy 

 

As the international community emphasizes the responsibility of companies to respect human rights to prevent and remedy human rights and environmental violations caused by corporations, a law requiring human rights and environmental due diligence in supply chains has been proposed for the first time in Asia. 

 

Representative Jung Tae-ho of the Democratic Party of Korea (Gwanak-eul, Seoul, National Assembly Committee on Planning and Finance) held a press conference at the National Assembly Communication Center on the 1st to introduce the 'Bill for the Protection of Human Rights and Environment for Sustainable Management of Businesses' (Corporate Human Rights and Environmental Protection Act), which stipulates the requirements for corporate human rights and environmental due diligence and specifies the responsibility of companies to respect human rights and the environment in their global supply chains. 

 

The press conference was attended by Representative Jung Tae-ho, who introduced the bill, as well as Na Hyun-pil, Secretary General of the International Democracy Alliance, Kang Ji-yoon, Park Young-ah, and Kim Tae-ho, researchers at the Public Interest Human Rights Law Foundation, Kim Dong-hyun and Kim Doona, attorneys at the Public Interest Human Rights Lawyers Association, and Hyung-young Spirit, attorney at the Public Interest Law Center, who called for the need to enact the Corporate Human Rights and Environmental Protection Act and its speedy passage. 

 

Based on the UNGC 10 Principles, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), and the OECD Due Diligence Guidelines, the Act legislates a series of processes for the five elements of corporate human rights and environmental due diligence: establishment and internalization of human rights policy; human rights impact assessment; establishment and implementation of human rights management system; monitoring and disclosure; and a grievance mechanism. 

 

The scope of the target companies was limited to companies with more than 500 full-time employees and more than 200 billion won in sales, taking into account due diligence guidelines such as the EU, and excluding small and medium-sized enterprises in consideration of their response capabilities. In addition, the scope of target companies can be expanded by presidential decree depending on domestic and international conditions. 

 

The supply chain is defined as the direct and indirect relationships that form at all stages from the acquisition of raw materials to final consumption. Considering the complexity of global supply chains, the government imposed due diligence obligations on direct and indirect suppliers in the supply chain, but differentiated measures for human rights and environmental risks depending on the business relationship and influence. 

 

The government would establish guidelines and information disclosure standards for human rights and environmental due diligence, and provide support for consulting, education, training, and system construction to help companies implement human rights and environmental due diligence smoothly, and provided separate support for SMEs. 

 

"In 2021, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development changed Korea's status to a developed country, and last year, Korea's status in the international community was further enhanced by recording the world's sixth largest trade volume," said Rep. Jeong Tae-ho. "With the enactment of the Corporate Human Rights and Environmental Protection Act, we hope that Korea will lead the world in corporate and human rights as befits a developed economy." 

 

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