Back to overview

The Responsibility Business Initiative

Switzerland Forthcoming 2016

Under the Responsible Business Initiative, companies will be legally obliged to incorporate respect for human rights and the environment in all their business activities. This mandatory due diligence will also be applied to Swiss based companies’ activities abroad.

Issuer name

Swiss Coalition For Corporate Justice

More information

The Swiss Parliament has decided to issue a counter-proposal to referendum initiative, The indirect counter-proposal should make the core demands of the Responsible Business Initiative more concrete, and the open formulations of the initiative text more precise. Thereby a balanced and concrete solution should be found that ensures that business respects human rights and the environment abroad. The commission thereby orients itself on the UN Guiding Principles and the OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises and aims at ensuring their binding implementation. The National Council, has approved the proposed text, now the Council of States needs to move forward with the proposal. Reviewed 2/01/2019.

Organizations covered by the instrument

Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Target organization notes

In practice, small and medium-sized companies have less human rights risks, particularly when they are only nationally active. For these SMEs, the legislator should define a considerably simplified procedure. There will however be no general exemption from the duty to carry out due diligence, because there are some SMEs that carry particularly great risks.

Industry scope

All/none specified







Date of publication


Issuer type

Industry bodies, business associations

Reporting requirements

Public law and regulation

Mandatory or voluntary


The geographical scope


Go to the instrument