Written by 10 h 57 min Advocacy, Press release-en, Strengthening corporate accountability litigation

A large majority of French people support the end of impunity for multinational corporations What will the deputies do during the plenary review of the law on the duty of care?

Paris, 29 January – According to a CSA poll commissioned by the Forum Citoyen pour la RSE (Citizen Forum for CSR) (1), French people in the survey overwhelmingly consider that multinational corporations must be more vigilant and legally liable for human and environmental disasters caused by their subsidiaries and subcontractors. Just a few days before the review in the National Assembly of the legislative proposal on the duty of care of multinational corporations of -Thursday, 29 January- this result demonstrates French people’s demands on their political representatives.

The results of the CSA poll are unequivocal (2):

9 out of 10 French people feel that brands that manufactured their clothes in the Rana Plaza factoriesshould be required to compensate the victims.

– for 95% of French people, this type of drama and environmental disasters such as the Erika oil spill could be avoided if multinational corporations took greater precautions.

– 3 out of 4 French people (76%) from all political backgrounds think that French multinational corporations should be held legally liable for serious accidents caused by their subsidiaries and subcontractors.

For members of Forum citoyen pour la RSE, such results call for an urgent and ambitious policy response. If they are to listen to the desires and concerns of French people, deputies should overwhelmingly adopt next Thursday the legislative proposal on the duty of care of parent and contracting companies to prevent further environmental disasters and tragedies like that of Rana Plaza.

The Forum citoyen pour la RSE calls on all deputies to show courage on 29 January and fulfil their commitments by adopting the text without reducing its scope.

Strategy of socialist deputies against the desire of French people

The results of this poll show that the French people understand the issues. The poll stands in stark opposition to the strategy of socialist deputies in legislative commission on January 21 that rejected the text of which they themselves are the authors (3).

As it turned out, the group voted against a text on which it worked for 24 months, refusing to propose amendments and preferring to rewrite, in haste, a new text on the basis of a counter proposal suggested by the Ministry of Economy. This latter proposal reflects the positions held by French multinational corporations via the AFEP (French Association of Private Companies), renders meaningless the original bill and even underestimates the opinion prepared within the National Platform for Global CSR Actions (4) set up by the Government. Unlike the original text, this counter proposal would not enable real progress in terms of prevention and access to justice for victims.

A petition was launched on AVAAZ: http://bit.ly/petition-avaaz

Sherpa press contact:

–            Sandra Cossart, Globalisation and Human Rights Programme Head: 06 10 77 77 28

–            Laetitia Liebert, Director of Sherpa: 06 52 16 35 61


(1) Forum citoyen pour la RSE is a place of expertise, public expression and advocacy on issues relating to social, environmental and corporate responsibility for companies. Its members are Alternatives économiques, Amis de la Terre France, Amnesty International France, CCFD-Terre Solidaire (Comité Catholique contre la Faim et pour le Développement), Centre de Recherche et d’Information pour le Développement (CRID), Centre Français d’Information sur les Entreprises (CFIE), Collectif Éthique sur l’étiquette, Sherpa, Confédération Française et Démocratique du Travail (CFDT), Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), France Nature Environnement (FNE), Greenpeace France, Ligue des Droits de l’Homme (LDH), Peuples solidaires/Action Aid France, Terre des Hommes France and WWF France.

(2)    CSA poll conducted from 20 to 22 January 2015. Detailed results of the poll are available at the following link: http://bit.ly/sondage-csa-fcrse

(3)    On 6 November 2013 two legislative proposals establishing a duty of care for contracting companies in respect of their subsidiaries and subcontractors were filed by two groups – Socialiste, républicain et citoyen (PPL SRC) and Ecologiste (PPL EELV). The group Radical, républicain, démocrate et progressiste (PPL RRDP) filed the same text on 13 February 2014, followed by the group Gauche démocrate et républicaine (PPL GDR) on 29 April 2014.

These legislative proposals are also supported by five leading trade unions: CFDT, CFTC, CGT, CFE-CGC and FO.

On 17 November 2014, after one year of consultation, this legislative proposal received the support of Manuel Valls.

(4) Multi-party space that meets under the auspices of the prime minister of trade unions, employers’ organisations, researchers, NGOs and public authorities.

Last modified: 17 December 2019