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Focus on Regulation

BHR News Flash: Swiss proposal to impose human rights due diligence requirements reaches the next stage of the legislative process

In December 2017, our blog post discussed how a coalition of Swiss civil society organisations launched the Responsible Business Initiative (“RBI”), i.e. a proposal to amend the Swiss constitution to require mandatory human rights due diligence for companies based in Switzerland.

While the RBI is still currently going through the Swiss legislative process, it seems to be heading towards a national referendum.

Back in November 2017, the Council of States, one of the two parliamentary chambers, issued a counter-proposal to the RBI, to respond to a suggested text it perceived as “too vague” and going “too far”.

After some deliberation by its legal committee, on 4 May 2018 the National Council (i.e. the other Swiss parliamentary chamber) announced that it voted by 14 against 10 to approve the counter-proposal, paving the way for a vote through a federal referendum later this year or early next year.

Stay tuned for more developments on the Swiss RBI.