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Legal Compass: Liability and compliance

  • Switzerland


    On 29 November 2020, Swiss voters rejected the “Responsible Business Initiative – Protecting human rights and the environment” popular initiative (so-called “Corporate Responsibility Initiative”).

    Following the vote, the Federal Assembly (the Swiss legislator) decided to implement its indirect counterproposal [by making certain amendments in the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO)]. The new provisions in the CO provide for the following:

    • on the one hand, large Swiss companies will be required to report on the risks of their business activities in the areas of environment, social and employee concerns, human rights and the fight against corruption, as well as on the measures taken against these risks. These provisions aim to create more transparency.
    • on the other hand, companies with risks in sensitive areas such as child labour and so-called “conflict minerals (i.e. tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold ore from conflict and high-risk areas) must comply with special and far-reaching due diligence requirements, which are regulated in an ordinance issued by the Federal Council.

    Read more here.



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