The German government has set a 2020 target for at least 50% of German companies with more than 500 employees to  have  introduced effective human rights protections.  The current coalition Government has agreed to pass laws and push for “EU-wide regulation” if companies’ voluntary implementation proves to be insufficient.  

Respect for Human Rights: A Snapshot of the Largest German Companies assesses  publicly available  information fo r 20 German companie s based on  core indicators from  the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark  (CHRB)  methodology, applicable across  all  sectors. It covers three  areas: Governance and policy commitments; embedding respect and human rights due diligence; and remedies and grievances mechanisms.

The study finds that 90%  (18/20) of companies assessed failed  to  fully  disclose  how they manage their human right s risks sufficiently (due diligence).  Just two companies, Daimler and Siemens,  received points on all four indicators looking at human  rights  due diligence processes.   

Almost  half (8/20) the  companies scored below 40%  of the available 24 points.  Companies with low scores overall included household names Deutsche Post DHLRWE, and Deutsche Bank. Volkswagen scored 10 out of the available 24 points. Siemens was the highest scoring company with 60% (14.5) of the available 24 points. 

This suggests the wider group of companies being assessed by the German government may fail its test.  This could open the door to human rights due diligence legislation.  

Respect for Human Rights: A Snapshot of the Largest German Companies DOWNLOAD














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