Business and Human Rights
Reshaping Business Practices: Due Diligence Legislations and Türkiye
The panel on "Reshaping Business Practices: Due Diligence Legislations and Türkiye" held in Istanbul on October 24, 2023, brought together experts from the business sector, civil society, and media to discuss the implications of the EU's Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive and Germany's LkSG (Supply Chain Due Diligence Law) on Turkish-European and Turkish-German trade relations. The event aimed to address the growing expectations for responsible business conduct and explore avenues for cooperation among various stakeholders.
The panel discussion, titled "Reshaping Business Practices: Due Diligence Legislations and Türkiye," featured prominent speakers who shared their perspectives on the implications and challenges of these legislative changes. Markus Löning, Founder and Managing Director of Löning – Human Rights & Responsible Business, delivered an insightful overview of corporate sustainability, the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, and Germany's LkSG. His presentation set the stage for the ensuing discussions, emphasizing the importance of sustainability and due diligence in the modern business landscape. The human rights activist and Co-Director of the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA), Veysel Ok, discussed the importance of due diligence for Turkish media and civil society with its potential effects on the Turkish human rights landscape. As the Secretary-General at the Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TÜRKONFED), Arda Batu provided the business perspective on these legislations and the readiness of Turkish enterprises. Sevda Alkan, Program Analyst, UN Women Türkiye, emphasized the role of private sector partnerships in advancing sustainability and gender equality. Barçın Yinanç, a respected journalist, moderated the panel, ensuring a well-structured and informative discussion.
The discussion revolved around several critical points:
• The implications of the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive on Turkish companies and SMEs.
• Whether the new EU directive presents an opportunity or an obstacle for Türkiye-Europe relations and the possible areas of cooperation between governments.
• An exploration of the German Supply Chain Law (LkSG) and its effects on Turkish-German trade relations.
• The vital role of civil society and media in implementing sustainability due diligence.
• Strategies for business and civil society cooperation on these issues and how to facilitate such discussions.
• The role of media organizations in developing sustainability due diligence.
• Translating human rights standards into business language and aligning civil society and the private sector on sustainability due diligence.
The panel discussion was followed by a lively Q&A session, during which attendees could pose questions and seek further clarification on the topics discussed.
The event concluded with a networking cocktail, allowing participants to follow up with contacts in the sustainability due diligence field.
The panel served as a valuable platform for in-depth discussions and knowledge sharing on the changing landscape of business practices, due diligence legislations, and their impact on Turkish-European and Turkish-German trade relations. The insights shared by the panellists and the engagement of the diverse audience reaffirmed the importance of responsible business conduct and collaboration among various stakeholders. This event marked a significant step in shaping the future of sustainability due diligence in Türkiye and beyond.