020 7650 1200

Human rights law firm, Leigh Day, submits evidence to Parliamentary inquiry into UK business

Leigh Day has presented submissions to the Human Rights and Business inquiry

Posted on 02 September 2016

Leigh Day has made written submissions on access to effective remedy as part of an inquiry launched by the Joint Committee on Human Rights into the UK’s compliance with international guidance on business and human rights.

The law firm’s submission makes a number of specific recommendations for increasing access to effective remedy for victims of corporate human rights abuse. The proposals range from requiring businesses over a certain size to report on human rights due diligence, to introducing amendments to the Modern Slavery Act.

Leigh Day has specialised in international corporate accountability cases for more than 20 years. The firm’s evidence draws on experience from the many ground-breaking cases it has brought representing people from across the world in claims against UK-based multinational companies.

Examples of cases handled by the firm include those of Nigerian fishing communities whose livelihoods were threatened by oil pollution; South African mine-workers suffering from silicosis; local villagers injured by police or private security protecting mining interests in Peru and Tanzania; and Lithuanian victims of modern slavery.

The inquiry was set up in July to consider progress by the Government in implementing the United Nations Guiding Principles on business and human rights, by means of the National Action Plan published in 2013 and revised in May 2016.

It will look at:

  • What steps the Government takes to monitor compliance with the UN Guiding Principles
  • How far the Government is able to enforce the UN Guiding Principles
  • Whether, and if so what, progress British business has made in carrying out its responsibility to respect human rights
  • Whether victims of human rights abuse involving business enterprises within UK jurisdiction have access to effective remedy

The Joint Committee on Human Rights, chaired by Rt. Hon. Harriet Harman MP, is in the process of hearing oral evidence.