Rejection of the law on the duty of care: the Senate votes for upholding the impunity of multinationals

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 agenda of the National Assembly for its second reading.

Four our organisations, it is the upholding of the impunity of multinationals on which the senators have voted yesterday. The amendments tabled by environmentalist, Republican Communist and citizen groups have not even been discussed due to the introduction, by the rapporteur Christophe-André Frassa (LR), of three removal amendments blocking the debate on this text. At the request of Senator Joël Labbé (EELV), voting has been conducted by way of an unsealed ballet paper election. The senators have opted for the pure and simple removal of the three articles which form the text, refusing any form of debate.

A debate would have allowed to show that the economic world is not a monolithic block when faced with this issue. In effect, the Forum for Responsible Investment (FRI), comprising investors such as the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignation and asset managers like BNP Paribas, HSBC or even Comité 21, has recently lent its support to

this proposed law


Our organisations are now calling to enter this proposed law with immediate effect onto the agenda of the National Assembly for its second reading. They are relying on deputies to restore to the text, adopted on 30 March 2015 at the Assembly upon first reading, its initial scope and if possible strengthen it. This would allow France to implement its international commitments in this field, to take a first step towards the prevention of human and environmental damage, and to make it easier for victims to access justice.
“The financial dynamics are clearly directed today towards a world where socially responsible companies will benefit from an access cost to capital lower than that of companies who are indifferent to these issues”.

Press contacts:

• Sherpa: Sandra Cossart, Globalisation and Human Rights programme manager – 06 60 29 59 64
• Les Amis de la Terre France: Pierre Sagot, 06 86 41 53 43 –
• CCFD–Terre Solidaire: Karine Appy, 06 66 12 33 02 –
• Collectif Ethique sur l’Etiquette: Nayla Ajaltouni, 06 62 53 34 56 –
• Amnesty International France: Véronique Tardivel, 06 76 94 37 05