Methodology: Laws

This website aims to document and display the legal implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles around the world, specifically the translation of a corporate responsibility to respect human rights under Pillar II into mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence obligations and Pillar III on victims’ access to remedy.

Types of Laws

The website includes three types/categories of mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence laws: reporting laws, due diligence laws and due diligence laws with access to remedy.

Reporting laws provide binding obligations for corporations to disclose information on human rights and environmental due diligence. The extent of transparency obligations may vary from reporting on steps taken to limit human rights impacts, to specific actions taken towards ensuring the implementation of due diligence within the supply chain. Some reporting laws also address other social matters, aside from human rights and environmental concerns, including governance issues like the diversity of the board.

As opposed to reporting laws, due diligence laws involve an actual duty to assess and identify potential risks and take appropriate action to mitigate and prevent identified actual and/or potential risks. Some of the laws featured in this website include an obligation to conduct due diligence in terms of both human rights and environmental impacts while other laws may be limited to specific adverse impacts e.g. child labor or deforestation. Some of these due diligence laws, while not directly including a provision allowing for civil liability in case of harm, may include provisions advancing access to justice for victims. Some of these laws may also contain provisions concerning corporate governance and the duty of the board of the board vis-a-vis the company’s due diligence.

Due diligence laws with access to remedy are like the second type of laws but differ in that they explicitly include provisions on access to remedy - specifically corporate civil liability - thereby providing victims with a judicially-enforceable right to remediation. When a company is found to be liable, it must pay compensation for damages, or otherwise remediate the victims.

Aside from these three types of laws, this tracker further distinguishes between company laws, which include horizontal obligations, and sector-based or product-specific laws. The latter refers to issue-specific laws seeking to place obligations on companies operating in a particular sector, for example minerals or forestry. These laws typically include due diligence obligations, so they tend to fall under the second type of laws identified.

Finally, this website notes whether these laws have been adopted and entered into force. Relevant forthcoming laws (proposals) are also included. Legal developments become relevant laws as soon as they are discussed in official bodies, for instance in parliament.


This website does not attempt to score different types of laws but rather assess and visually represent the status of multiple laws within a single category. We analyze laws by reviewing six elements which are then further composed of multiple criteria. These criteria are assessed by reference to the law and given a green check if the criterion is met, a yellow check if the criterion is partially or conditionally met, and a red cross if the criterion is not met.

The elements assessed are:

  • Obligations: mandatory duties prescribed by the law on the corporation including reporting and due diligence obligations.
  • Normative scope: indicates the range of topics (human rights, the environment, other social matters) covered by the law.
  • Company scope: defines the kind of company bound by the law, usually based on size (large companies, SMEs) or based on sector.
  • Value chain scope: refers to the extent of obligations imposed by the law in terms of its reach starting from a company’s own operations, to its subsidiaries- entities owned or controlled, and (direct and indirect) suppliers. While the term supply chain covers the production process, the term value chain also covers investors and includes obligations after the product is produced and sold.
  • Administrative enforcement: describes the means through which public bodies may enforce the law including through monitoring and administrative sanctions including financial but also others such as refusal of public support e.g. public procurement or export credit.. In some cases, it may also include criminal penalties.