Reference : Colonial Reverberations in Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence Laws (mHRDD): Centeri...
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Colonial Reverberations in Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence Laws (mHRDD): Centering the West and Othering the Rest
Lichuma, Caroline Omari mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Department of Law (DL) >]
Caroline Omari LICHUMA
Tilburg University
[en] Business and Human Rights ; Colonisation
[en] It is no exaggeration to observe that Europe is in the throes of a mHRDD wave. Regionally, the European Commission adopted a proposal on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) in February 2022. Nationally, countries such as France, Germany, and Norway, have recently enacted mHRDD laws geared towards reducing the governance gap that has allowed Transnational Corporations (TNCs) to (un)wittingly contribute to violations of human rights and the environment in primarily global south countries. These developments call for sober reflections on the intended and unintended impacts of mHRDD laws given their status as the “shiny new thing” in the global regulation of TNCs.

Using a Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) lens, this contribution adopts a counter-hegemonic vantage point to render visible what is currently invisibilized by the euphoria surrounding mHRDD laws. More specifically, I hypothesize that the processes surrounding the enactment and operationalization of these laws enacted, as they are, in the west, and certain substantive provisions within them; coupled with their extraterritorial impacts on global south states and peoples without adequately involving these states and peoples, replicate the dynamics of colonial power relations, reinforcing the power asymmetries that characterize the relationship between the west and the rest. Consequently, mHRDD laws should not be embraced with open arms, but rather, should be understood and critiqued within their proper, sometimes, neo-colonial context.

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