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France

I – The State’s Obligation to Protect Human Rights

The International Framework

3. The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) [page 14]

… Lastly, France finances actions supporting the implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. It is also very active in the working group developing a guide for the textile industry, following the recommendations of its NCP in this field.

 

The European Framework

7. The European Union (EU) [page 18]

… Following the proposal for a European regulation on the traceability of minerals from conflict zones,6 France supported an ambitious draft regulation on responsible supply chains for minerals in conflict zones and high-risk areas. The regulation on due diligence for conflict minerals was approved at a plenary session of the European Parliament in March 2017, following the political understanding announced by the Council in June 2016. France will work to ensure that it is correctly implemented and quickly evaluated so it can be reinforced if necessary …

 

The National Framework

13. The Role of Public Agencies

Actions Underway [page 30]

  • COFACE Government Guarantees and the Ministry of the Economy and Financeare currently examining whether to implement an IT module widening the scope of checks, to highlight at-risk industries or countries in the short, medium and long term. This would make it possible to check compliance with the UN Guiding Principles by reviewing all credit insurance operations and assessing human rights risks.

15. Economic Sectors and Human Rights [page 31]

Not only must the authorities promote and raise awareness of CSR standards, they must also require extra vigilance with respect to high-risk economic sectors, geographic areas and products.

The Extractive Sector [page 34]

  • France helps monitor and finance the implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. This document is an international reference in the field of good practices for businesses seeking to identify and manage non-financial risks in their mineral supply chains (funding for armed groups and terrorism, human rights abuses, child labour, corruption, etc.).
  • France is also active at the EU level. For example, it took part in negotiations on the Conflict Minerals Regulation, which concluded on 22 November 2016. It played a key role in pushing through the adoption of Chapter 10 of the Accounting Directive of 26 June 2013, which requires companies in the extractive sector to report all payments to governments in the countries they operate in, broken down by country and by project. France was one of the first European countries to transpose this requirement.

Actions Underway 

  • France raises awareness among French businesses of their due diligence obligations with respect to mineral supply chains as set out in relevant regulatory initiatives (the OECD Due Diligence Guidance, the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation and national law on due diligence).

 

II – Businesses’ Responsibility to Respect Human Rights

Actions Underway

  • The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development issues advice for businesses operating in conflict zones and/or high-risk areas.
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