The Brazilian Case: The need to strengthen due diligence processes when states seem to fall back

Content: This paper draws attention to the current human rights risks in Brazil and provide clear recommendations of action for businesses. It emphasises that businesses should strengthen their human rights due diligence.

Year: April 2019

Language: EN

Keywords: Brazil, Human Rights Due Diligence, Corporate Social Responsibility, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), Indigenous rights, Rainforest, Amazon, Bolsonaro.


Businesses have the responsibility to respect human rights wherever they operate, independently of a state’s ability or willingness to fulfil their own human rights obligations.
When challenges seem to grow due to a state’s reduced capability to protect the population from abuses, business should strengthen their human rights due diligence processes.
The relevance of this process can be observed from the Brazilian perspective. Brazil has made great advancements with regards to respecting, protecting and fulfilling the human rights of its population since the Constitution of 1988. However, recent setbacks can be noticed.
This paper draws attention to the need for businesses to review their human rights due diligence processes in their supply chains or operations within the country. In light of recent events, some topics are considered to be of greater concern and, therefore, should receive special attention in companies’ impact and risk assessments.

Authors: Raquel Althoff, Lisa Szeponik