Sherpa and two other French NGOs have filed a new complaint against retailer Auchan alleging the company disseminated misleading information to its customers and the public about its relationship to manufacturers in Rana Plaza. The new complaint appears to follow the dismissal of an investigation into the same by a prosecutor in Lille. That investigation, it appears, itself followed an earlier complaint by Sherpa et al. which was more focused on the merits, i.e., alleging that “the retailer had not taken all measures within its power” with respect to Rana Plaza. I am insufficiently familiar with French procedure, but the BHRRC reports that now that the Lille prosecutor has decided not to pursue charges, the complaint is a means for Sherpa et al. to petition an investigating judge to conduct an inquiry. Sherpa is linking the complaint to its broader reform efforts, including backing a “duty of care” legislation that is working its way through the French Parliament:
Our organisations also recall that without establishing the legal responsibility of the prime company as regards any damage that could be caused throughout its subcontracting chain, the victims’ access to compensation remains almost impossible. They demand that the bill on the duty of care* is added to the Senate’s agenda without delay. The vote by the National Assembly at its first reading last 30 March constituted a first historic step in the defence of basic rights and of the environment.