Corporate abuses: Bishops demand binding due diligence legislation
The President of COMECE, H.Em. Card. Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, and other Bishop Delegates to COMECE, together with more than 110 Catholic Bishops from all around the world, signed on Monday, 6 July 2020, the declaration “Now more than ever, we need mandatory supply chain due diligence to stop corporate abuse and guarantee global solidarity”, demanding public authorities to introduce binding legislation to stop corporate abuses, regulate their activities and make them accountable by law.
According to the Bishops, our economies should follow values of dignity and justice, and be respectful of the rights of the people and of the environment. Corporate abuse – they argue - is widespread and the current Covid-19 crisis has exacerbated the situation especially for the most vulnerable persons and communities of our societies.
“Irresponsible companies – reads the statement - have long been involved in […] evading taxes that could serve to build and maintain public services such as hospitals or schools, polluting our soils, water and air, or by being complicit in gross human rights violations around the world, like forced and child labour”.
Bishops call for solidarity and urge the EU and its Member States - together with the rest of the international community - to adopt and implement proper legislation in order to avoid transnational companies from continuing to carry out abuses. “It is the only option to protect communities and celebrate the interconnectedness of our human nature”, they state.
This initiative follows on repeated calls by COMECE for "a binding European and international due diligence legislation for businesses in order to ensure compliance of their actions throughout the entire supply chain with legal, social and environmental standards".
Welcoming the announcement by the EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders of a mandatory and robust legislation on human rights due diligence, COMECE looks forward to contributing to the pertinent public debate.
The COMECE Bishop who signed the statement are:
- H. Em. Card. Jean-Claude HOLLERICH SJ, Archbishop of Luxembourg, Cardinal-Priest of San Giovanni Crisostomo a Monte Sacro Alto, Luxembourg;
- H. E. Mgr. Mariano CROCIATA, Bishop of Latina-Terracina-Sezze-Priverno, Italy;
- H. E. Mgr. Ägidius ZSIFKOVICS, Bishop of Eisenstadt, Austria.