Companies based in Switzerland should ensure that they and their subsidiaries abroad comply with human rights and environmental protection standards. Violations must have consequences; corporations should be liable for any damage caused. This is the demand of the initiative "For responsible companies - to protect people and the environment" ("Responsible Business Initiative"), which was launched in 2015. The demands of the initiative correspond to the practice in other countries.
We were part of a broad coalition of over 110 organisations that supported the initiative. Since environmental degradation and human rights violations have gendered impacts that disproportionately affect women and marginalised people of all genders, this initiative also supported a feminist cause.
The initiative reached the popular majority in 2020 but was rejected due to the majority of the cantons. The Federal Council's counter-proposal came into force in 2022. The initiators rejected it because it did not go far enough. In the same year, they launched a second collection of signatures after the European Union presented a proposal for an EU-wide corporate responsibility law at the end of February. Switzerland should not remain the only European country without regulations in this area.
Feminists on the Responsible Business Initiative (German, 2020)