Due time for Due Diligence? Resilience and vulnerability in European supply chains amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Research Paper by Bronagh Kieran



The EU proposal on human rights and environmental due diligence amid the Covid-19 pandemic: an appraisal.

In April 2020, European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders announced his intention to include legislation on mandatory human rights due diligence (mHREDD) in the Commission’s 2021 work programme. The aim of this paper is to consider this anticipated legislation. It addresses the following questions: what is mHREDD? Why is it needed? And what provisions should be included within the legislation? As the paper touches on these questions, it reflects on the international context. First, this paper describes the problems of malpractice in European supply chains and posits that due diligence could serve as a tool for remedying these practices, as was envisioned by the UN Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights. Second, the paper considers how the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic contributes to our understanding of international supply chains and the EU’s role therein. Third and finally, the paper presents some key recommendations for the anticipated legislation.


About the author

Bronagh Kieran is a law graduate with expertise in the external human rights policy of the European Union. She holds a bachelor’s degree in law with philosophy from University College Dublin. In 2019, she graduated from the European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation. She has completed a Schuman Traineeship in the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights as well as internships with the Brussels office of Human Rights Watch and the Council of Europe’s Liaison Office to the EU.

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