Sherpa carries out advocacy actions with policy makers and economic actors in order to change the law, public policies and practices of public and private actors in order to prevent and redress human rights abuses. The main lines of Sherpa’s advocacy are relayed particularly with the help of the various organisation’s platforms of civil society of which Sherpa is a member.
The main lines of advocacy of the Globalisation and human rights Programme
– The parent company/ subsidiary and subcontractor’s liability
Company law is based on two principles: legal persons’ legal autonomy and limited liability. This prevents a parent or holding company from being considered legally responsible for the activities carried out in its overseas subsidiaries. Although a group of companies is an economic reality, each entity of this group, quite often registered in emerging countries, is legally isolated. This makes it impossible, from a legal point of view, to recognise the responsibilities of the parent company regarding human rights abuses and environmental violations perpetrated by its subsidiaries.
Please find here the summary of European duty of care initiatives : In the face of corporate impunity, Progress in Europe.
– Transparency, particularly through reporting
Access to information for stakeholders (consumers, populations affected by the economic activity, unions, States, NGOs, etc.) remains low. The lack of transparency also prevents the development of qualitative practices of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). It is therefore necessary to establish an obligation of transparency regarding the communication of information related to due diligence, particularly in conflict areas, to environmental and social impacts and to human rights on the basis of accurate, reliable and relevant indicators that are comparable among companies in the same sector and over time.
– Access to justice
At present in France, victims of human rights abuses cannot secure compensation from parent companies for damages caused by foreign subsidiaries, sub-contractors or suppliers. In order to guarantee access to justice and to enable victims of multinational companies to initiate court proceedings in France (where the headquarters of the parent companies are located), it is therefore necessary to remove procedural obstacles.
– Responsibility and exemplarity of the State in its investments
It is not only private economic actors that are targeted by Sherpa; public economic actors can also commit offences that may be criminally prosecuted.
The main lines of advocacy of the Illicit Financial Flows and Development Programme
– The fight against illicit financial flows in the natural resources sector, particularly through the promotion of transparency, access to information, the disclosure of beneficial owners and the fight against tax havens;
– The criminal responsibility of legal and natural persons with regard to offences such as corruption/ money laundering/ tax evasion through the adoption of dissuasive sanctions;
– The recovery of assets through “ill-gotten gains” cases and the return of such assets to the affected populations through the initiation of a reflection process at national, European and international level on how seized assets should be returned.
Le 18 December 2019
TO GLOBAL INVESTORS AND FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS: CSO OPEN LETTER ON THE RISK OF EXPOSURE TO AMAZON DEFORESTATION IN REPORTED SALE BY THE BRAZILIAN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT BANK OF SHARES IN JBS AND MARFRIG Find the PDF Version here
Le 17 December 2019
On 18 November 2015, the senators have rejected, in a tense atmosphere, the proposed law relating to the duty of care of parent companies and contracting companies, an essential law for preventing future human or environmental dramas related to the activities of multinational companies. This proposed law must be entered with immediate effect onto the […]
Le 6 December 2019
Press Release – December 6, 2019 « Ill-Gotten Gains » Riffat al-Assad, uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, will stand trial in France for money laundering allegedly using funds to the detriment of the Syrian people On December 9, 2019, opens the trial of Rifaat al-Assad, the first and only member of the Al Assad dynasty […]
Le 4 November 2019
Sandra Cossart and Lucie Chatelain wrote a blog post on the Revised Draft treaty, “Key legal obstacles around jurisdiction for victims seeking justice remain in the Revised Draft treaty”, published on November 4, 2019 on the Business and Human Right Ressource Center blog as part of its symposium on the revised draft of a binding treaty on business […]
Le 24 October 2019
Press release French court rejects ECCHR and SHERPA’s admissibility in the Lafarge/Syria case. Organizations to appeal decision at French Supreme Court. Paris, 24 October 2019 – Today, the Investigation Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeals rejected the nonprofit organizations Sherpa and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights’ (ECCHR) admissibility as civil parties in […]
Le 24 October 2019
The Balkany trial must not hide the role played by bank and financial intermediaries in the proliferation of illicit financial flows, antimoney laundering experts Chanez Mensous and Laura Rousseau say in the opinion pages of Le Monde newspaper. Convicted for tax fraud after a blaring trial, Levallois-Perret mayor Patrick Balkany was sentenced to four years […]
Le 14 October 2019
Paris, October 14, 2019. More than ever, citizens are mobilizing for action to stop climate change and corporate activities damaging our shared environment, health and future. Fires in the Amazon point to complicity of mining, agribusiness and the food industry in demand and supply of products and materials causing deforestation and violence against human rights […]
Le 18 September 2019
Corporate capture of global governance: The World Economic Forum (WEF)-UN partnership agreement is a dangerous threat to UN System Open letter to Mr António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations We the undersigned call on you to terminate the recently signed United Nations-World Economic Forum strategic partnership agreement. We are very concerned that […]
Le 22 August 2019
Paris, August 22, 2019 – From 24 to 26 August 2019, the G7 Summit will be held in Biarritz, in southwestern France. The G7 has made the fight against inequality this year’s fight. The G7 countries, which represent 40% of the world’s GDP, will thus look at ways to reduce inequalities in access to services […]
Le 19 August 2019
Citizens demand the EU stops stalling on a treaty to ensure that businesses respect human rights This week saw the publication of the landmark revised draft of a UN treaty which aims to prevent human rights abuses by transnational corporations and other business enterprises, and close existing gaps in access to justice for victims. A […]
Le 24 July 2019
Paris, July 18, 2019 – French NGO Sherpa and the 20 million-member UNI Global Union formally put Paris-based outsourcing giant Teleperformance on notice today that it must comply with its duty of vigilance regarding human rights. Both organisations filed the warning because they do not believe Teleperformance’s vigilance plan meets the minimum requirements of the French Law on the Duty of […]
Le 28 June 2019
Paris, 27 June 2019 – Two years after the adoption of the French law on the duty of vigilance, Sherpa and the CCFD-Terre Solidaire regret that the French government did not set up any mechanism to monitor the law. Today, we launch the vigilance-plan.org website to identify the companies subject to the law and verify […]
Le 14 May 2019
PRESS RELEASE 17 NGOs denounce threaths of prosecution against French journalists investigating French weapons in Yemen Paris, 13 May 2019 – 17 humanitarian and human rights NGOs today denounced threats to press freedom after three French journalists were summoned by the French intelligence services for investigating the presence of French weapons in the conflict in […]
Le 8 April 2019
LAW PROPOSAL ON « ILL GOTTEN GAINS »: an essential tool for the fight against international corruption Today the French Senate examines Senator Jean-Pierre Sueur’s law proposal on the return to the country of origin of assets resulting from transnational bribery and corruption. Sherpa stresses out the importance of the adoption of such law in France which […]
Le 4 April 2019
LAW PROPOSAL ON « ILL GOTTEN GAINS »: an essential tool for the fight against international corruption Today the French Senate examines Senator Jean-Pierre Sueur’s law proposal on the return to the country of origin of assets resulting from transnational bribery and corruption. Sherpa stresses out the importance of […]