Business & Human Rights

Protest action by the Supply Chain Act Initiative in front of the German parliament. Human rights and environmental protection are on the banner: finally get it on the entire supply chain! Improve the Supply Chain Act now!

For the production of everyday goods such as cars, smartphones, clothing and food, workers labour under sometimes catastrophic conditions. Transnational corporations accept human rights violations and environmental destruction for the sake of their profits. WEED is therefore calling for a fundamental change in the global economic system in which companies are held accountable.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights which were adopted in 2011 clearly state that companies must put an end to possible negative human rights impacts of their business activities and endeavour to provide remedy. To date, however, companies are far too rarely legally obliged to respect human rights in their business operations and production. In fact, most standards relating to human rights and environmental due diligence are voluntary.

WEED advocates for ambitious and effective political regulation to ensure that companies comply with human rights and environmental standards worldwide and that those affected by human rights violations and environmental destruction can assert their rights and have access to remedy. We are also committed to resource justice, with a particular focus on the IT sector, digitalisation and the automotive industry.

Our demands

  • Mandatory accountability and disclosure rules for companies on human rights, environmental and social standards
  • Anchoring human rights due diligence obligations for companies in international economic agreements and economic development programmes
  • Effective sanctions and liability rules for companies and instruments to enforce them
  • Awarding public contracts according to socio-ecological criteria


Black and grey skyscraper that rises into the sky

Dialogue with Companies

In addition to its other activities, WEED has been involved for several years in individual cases in dialogues with various economic actors, e.g. as part of round tables, dialogue forums, company events and stakeholder or industry dialogues on the topic of human rights violations in supply chains.

Rally organised by the Supply Chain Act Initiative. In the foreground, people wearing cardboard masks have dressed up as Christian Lindner, Marco Buschmann and Olaf Scholz. The banner reads: Olaf Scholz: Stop the FDP's wrong turn on the EU supply chain la

Due Diligence

Most standards relating to human rights and environmental due diligence are voluntary. However, companies must be held much more accountable and this can only be achieved with a legally binding framework to which all companies must adhere.

A laptop with a shopping trolley containing a green leaf. Next to it is a check tick

Public Procurement

The public sector spends enormous sums on purchasing and procurement every year. We are calling for public procurement to take social and ecological criteria into account. To have a real effect on supply and working conditions, there would need to be "fair purchasing" across the board, which we are supporting.

Aerial view of a large grey concrete dam

Foreign Trade Promotion

Every year, the German government provides billions in guarantees to enable high-risk investments or exports by German companies. Foreign trade promotion focuses primarily on countries with weak regulation and critical large-scale projects - and thus requires the opportunity to enforce environmental and human rights standards globally.