Summary of developments:
- NAP 2020-2022 (December 2019) contains several actions regarding HRDD at national and EU level and government already started to implement it (early 2020).
- Coalition agreement committed new government to explore the possibility of national HRDD legislation and to support binding EU legislation and UN Treaty to strengthen social and environmental responsibilities of transnational companies (December 2018).
- CSOs public campaign called for legislation to implement mandatory HRDD for companies headquartered in Luxembourg (March 2018).
In December 2019, the Luxembourgish government adopted its second National Action Plan (2020-2022). The NAP contains several actions regarding HRDD at national and EU level (unofficial translation):
- to implement pilot projects on HRDD in State-owned companies (p.22);
- to explore the possibility to legislate on HRDD at national level (p.27);
- to follow-up on the commitment to legislate on HRDD at European level (p.28);
- to introduce HRDD, as outlined in the UNGPs, into public-private partnership mechanisms (p.30);
- to create HRDD training courses (p.34).
At national level, the government commissioned a study to the University of Luxembourg on the feasibility to legislate on mandatory HRDD, which should be finalised by the end of 2020. In June 2020, the CSOs coalition had a first meeting with the Ministry, academia and the private sector where it presented its proposal for the Terms of Reference of the study.
At EU level, the Luxembourg delegation tried to add the item “due diligence requirements on human rights and environmental impacts” to the Agenda of a Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) meeting planned on 12 March 2020. However, the meeting was cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis.
♦ Full text of the NAP (in French).
♦ Explanatory note circulated by the Luxembourg delegation before the Foreign Affairs Council.
As a result of the public pressure, the December 2018 coalition agreement (2018-2023) committed Luxembourg's new government to explore the possibility of legislating on due diligence at national level, supported binding and effective EU legislation and welcomed the ongoing process at UN level to elaborate a legally binding instrument on business and human rights.
The coalition agreement states: "Luxembourg will support European initiatives to strengthen the social and environmental responsibility of transnational companies in the management of their supply chains and will commit itself at European level to binding and effective legislation. In this context, the possibility of legislating on due diligence for companies domiciled in Luxembourg will be explored, as it will ensure respect for human rights and the environment throughout their value chain and would be a complementary measure to the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, which underlines the importance of due diligence in preventing human rights violations and environmental damage caused by companies' activities." (unofficial translation, pp. 217-218). The document states as well that “the initiative to develop a UN binding instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises with transnational characteristics with regard to human rights is welcomed. Luxembourg will support an ambitious approach aimed in particular at maintaining the binding nature of that instrument.” (unofficial translation, p. 223)
♦ Coalition agreement (in French and German).
In March 2018, 13* civil society organisations launched the public campaign named “Initiative for a duty of vigilance law” (Initiative pour un devoir de vigilance au Luxembourg). The campaign called for legislation to implement a mandatory duty of vigilance for companies headquartered in Luxembourg, to ensure respect for human rights and adherence to labour standards and environmental regulations throughout their global supply chains. The proposal included a supervisory body with the power to sanction, as well as access to remedy mechanism for victims of corporate human rights violations.
The CSOs platform submitted its proposal to the political parties, which were in the process of developing their electoral programmes for the October 2018 parliamentary elections, requesting them to commit to the adoption of due diligence legislation.
*The platform is currently comprised of 16 CSOs: ASTM, Amnesty International Luxembourg, Association luxembourgeoise des Nations Unies, Caritas Luxembourg, Cercle de Coopération des ONGD, Comité pour une Paix juste au Proche-Orient, Commission luxembourgeoise Paix et Justice, Etika, Fairtrade Lëtzebuerg, Fncttfel – Landesverband, Frères des Homme Luxembourg, Greenpeace Luxembourg, OGBL, OGBL Solidarité Syndicale, Partage.lu, SOS Faim Fncttfel - Landesverband.