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National Action Plans: Current Status and Future Prospects for a New Business and Human Rights Governance Tool

National Action Plans (NAPs) on business and human rights are a burgeoning phenomenon…Prompted by…other initiatives, a steadily increasing number of governments and non-state actors have now launched NAPs…Every NAP process affirms the UNGPs’ essential tenet that human rights apply within the business sector...Yet, amongst advocates, there are concerns. To date, individual NAPs have been largely declaratory of existing measures and commitments, with few hard promises to take new action…Thus, the question remains: by which means can the greatest, and quickest, improvements in business respect for human rights be achieved? The UNHRC passed two resolutions in 2014, signalling two different possible responses to this question. One…called…for states to develop NAPs. The second resolved to establish an intergovernmental process on the human rights obligations of transnational corporations that…may lead to…a legally enforceable right to remedy for business-related human rights abuses…[W]e suggest, NAPs should now be a topic for sustained analysis and advocacy within the business and human rights field...

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