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Responsible business and human rights

Responsible business and social sustainability are more important than ever. We provide a wide scope of services relating to responsible business conduct, including in respect of the Norwegian Transparency Act, international instruments such as the UNGP and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and other similar legal frameworks and legislation.

Human rights and social sustainability is one of the main areas of responsible business conduct. This is no longer just a matter of voluntary "nice-to-haves". The expectation that companies should consider and mitigate the risk of their business adversely impacting human rights is now firmly established in international standards, corporate policies and, increasingly, in domestic laws and regulations.  

Recent years have seen new legislation – in Norway, Europe and the rest of the world – requiring corporations to respect human rights, underpinned by mandatory human rights due diligence in companies' supply chains and own operations. This is a clear trend in an area where there are ever-increasing demands and expectations. 

Our team assists companies in their efforts to comply with legal requirements in this area in a risk based, practical and solution-oriented manner. At the same time, we have experience and expertise to support those wishing to go even further in complying with best practises and international expectations, for instance to ensure long-term value creation and a more sustainable future.  

We offer

  • Strategic advice in case of investments or operations in high risk countries  
  • Advice relating to compliance with the Norwegian Transparency Act, including the due diligence requirement, the reporting obligation and responding to information requests  
  • Advice relating to sustainability reporting, including social sustainability   
  • Advice relating to the UK Modern Slavery Act  
  • Advice and investigations in the assessment of whether a business may be at risk of contributing to a breach of fundamental human rights or decent working conditions  
  • Developing processes to ensure a responsible supply chain 
  • Designing a framework, questionnaires and codes of conduct to ensure a responsible supply chain  
  • Designing supplier codes of conduct and tailored supplier declarations 
  • Supply chain human rights due diligence risk mapping   
  • A multijurisdictional approach aiming to ease the compliance burden for international corporations that are subject not only to the Norwegian Transparency Act but also similar legislation in other countries 
  • Advice to facilitate best practice compliance, including compliance with relevant international guidelines and frameworks such as the UN Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights   

Compliance Update

In our Compliance Update we provide our readers with information and updates on current topics in ethics, compliance and crisis management. Enjoyable reading!

Read our latest Compliance Update here

Tier 1
Legal 500 – Regulatory, Compliance and Investigations
Band 1
Chambers and Partners – Corporate Compliance & Investigations

Read our articles on Responsible business and human rights


WR ESG Alert: Another landmark ruling on climate change and human rights, and rules to protect against forced labour and abusive court proceedings

In this month's ESG alert, we highlight the recent landmark climate judgment from the European Court of Human Rights, as well as legislative developments in the EU, including new rules on free allocation of emission allowances, protection of persons who engage in public participation, a revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive, and the approval by the European Parliament of the Forced Labour Regulation.


WR ESG Alert: Shell appeals landmark climate ruling while EU members agree on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive

In this month's ESG alert, we describe Shell's appeal against a landmark climate ruling, the approval by EU members of a revised version of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive as well as recent EU climate initiatives and proposals to align Norwegian climate regulations with EU standards


EU Council and Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament approves amended draft of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive

On 15 March 2024, the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) of the Council of the European Union (the "Council") surprisingly approved an amended draft of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (the "CS3D"). On 19 March, the amended draft of the CS3D was approved by the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Parliament.

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