The United Nations (UN) establishes that human rights due diligence is a way for companies to proactively manage actual and potential risks of adverse human rights impacts in which they are involved.

Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence (HREDD) applied to the CLAC context, refers to a step-by-step pathway to help develop Fairtrade policies, standards and processes to be progressively more effective in addressing prioritized rights areas in production processes, and in advancing the rights of producers, workers, Fairtrade system employees and other rights holders.

In accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct, building an HRDDM system involves the following steps:

Step 1. Commitment: It implies a declaration of a company’s commitment to respect human and environmental rights, as well as awareness, assignment of responsibilities and construction of policies and procedures to address these issues.

Step 2. Identify: Identify and assess actual or potential adverse human rights and environmental impacts that the company has caused or contributed to through its activities, or that are directly related to the operations, products or services provided by its business relationships;

Step 3.  Address and remedy: Take actions to prevent, mitigate, cease and remedy those risks or problems identified according to their level of priority and according to the impact participation.

Step 4. Monitoring and Follow-up: Track the implementation and effectiveness of human rights and environmental due diligence activities. In turn, use lessons learned from monitoring to improve these processes in the future.

Step 5. Communicate: Communicate externally relevant information about the policies, processes, and due diligence activities undertaken to identify and address actual or potential negative impacts, including the findings and outcomes of those activities.  

Step 6. Repair or Collaborate: When the activities of an organization or company are identified as having caused or contributed to cause some real negative impact, it is necessary to address it by remediating or collaborating towards doing so. This implies the participation of the entire production chain in the creation of joint solutions for the remediation of problems identified through the human rights and environmental due diligence system.

It is important to highlight that voluntary initiatives such as certifications and even human rights and environmental due diligence systems are not enough to solve human rights and environmental problems, since this requires the support of the Government and the approach of paradigms and conditions that go beyond Fair Trade.

Consequently, CLAC’s approach to the work of HRDDMA focuses on the process of accompanying its members in the necessary work path for the construction of these due diligence systems, taking into account their internal capacities, resources, and level of progress in human rights and environmental work, so that they can contribute to indicators such as the SDGs through their good social and environmental practices.

On the other hand, as CLAC we assume a firm commitment in advocacy before various instances, especially with regard to the legislative processes of consumer countries around the HRDDMA, so that they incorporate the perspectives and realities of producers and workers, and that through these regulations the active participation, co-investment and creation of joint solutions of all stakeholders in the supply chain can be achieved.

Source: UNGP and OECD Guide

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