In this podcast, Ergon Director Steve Gibbons is joined by three experts in business and human rights to look at the possibilities for mandatory human rights due diligence legislation specifically in the context of the EU and Germany. We look at some of the crucial issues that will define legislation in Europe, ranging from scope to liability. We also look at the recently published proposal for an EU Directive from the Legal Committee of the European Parliament.
There is some way still to run with legislative proposals, but the developments at an EU and German level in the next 6 months may well shape the world of business and human rights more than any period since the adoption of the UNGPs.
This is the first of a series of podcasts from Ergon, we hope you enjoy it and find it useful. Research and production support for the podcast was provided by Marcella Klinker.
About our contributors
Margaret Wachenfeld is an international lawyer and policy adviser, who has been working at the intersection of sustainability, human rights and responsible business conduct for over 25 years. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark and the Centro Regional de Empresas y Emprendimientos Responsables (CREER) in Colombia. Additionally, she holds a number of other advisory positions, including as a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and as a Member of the Advisory Board of the European Parliament’s Responsible Business Conduct Working Group. She holds a BA in biology from Wellesley College, a juris doctor (JD) and masters in international and comparative law (LLM) from Duke University School of Law in the US and a PhD in law from the University of Copenhagen.
Laura Curtze is director of the German Global Compact Network’s programme on business and human rights, where she manages the Network’s activities on business and human rights and represents the Network vis-à-vis national and international stakeholders. Prior to joining Global Compact in March 2019, she worked as senior consultant at Ergon Associates in London, advising businesses, financial institutions and multi-stakeholder initiatives on labour and human rights due diligence. She has studied in Munich and Istanbul and holds an MA in International Relations and Affairs from the Graduate Institute in Geneva.
Claudia Müller-Hoff is Senior Legal Advisor on Business and Human Rights at the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin. She completed her legal education in Germany and holds an LLM from the University of Warwick. After initially practicing as a lawyer on behalf of refugees and migrants in Germany, she worked on the protection of human rights defenders in Latin America. She joined ECCHR in 2009, leaving in 2014 to work for human rights organisation Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo in Colombia for 2 years. She rejoined ECCHR in 2016.