People and Planet First

We call on the House of Commons to adopt human rights and due diligence legislation

While global leaders are in the COP26 meetings talking about how to tackle climate change, more and more activists are being threatened and killed for protecting the forests, waters, and biodiversity that our people and our planet are most in need of. The most vulnerable members of our human family are bearing the largest burden, dealing with the worst impacts of climate change and facing negative effects of ill-planned, top-down climate “solutions”.

We know the choices we are making today will shape our communities, our economy, our health and the health of our planet for years to come, so let’s make sure our transition is towards a just economy that addresses integral human development. How can we make sure human rights are respected and environmental harm avoided as we improve our global and national climate policies?

We must make sure that people and the planet are at the centre of our just recovery.

Voluntary measures are not enough

It is time to catch up! Are we ready for Canada to be a real leader in international human rights and responsible business conduct? For over a decade, Canadian companies have been expected to care for the environment and respect human rights. And yet, the lived experiences of Development and Peace partner organizations demonstrates that existing measures are not effective in preventing human and environmental abuses around the world.

We want the obligation to prevent human rights violations to be legally binding. Canadian companies will have to develop and implement human rights and environmental due diligence procedures for their entire supply and value chains, and report on it. With due diligence legislation, if a company fails to undertake reasonable steps the victims of any harm will have access to remedy and meaningful consequences through the Canadian courts.

PEOPLE AND PLANET FIRST MEANS…

a different kind of economy: one that brings life not death, one that is inclusive and not exclusive, humane and not dehumanizing, one that cares for the environment and does not despoil it.

Pope Francis