German firms breach human rights abroad, govt. must to do more, finds study

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22 November 2017

The global energy sector & human rights: Putting German business & policy to the test

Author: Germanwatch, MISEREOR

Since 2011, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights have called on all states to implement them at the national level. The German Government adopted a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights in December 2016 following a two-year consultation process. The study explores the question of whether and to what extent German business and the German Government have implemented the demands of the UN Guiding Principles to date. To make the analysis more substantial, this report is all about energy – a sector that is inextricably linked to globalisation and is associated time and time again with human rights violations. In this report, 30 energy companies operating in Germany were surveyed and analysed. At the same time, mayor policy areas relevant for the energy sector were investigated.

The report (executive summary) can be downloaded here.

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21 June 2017

German firms breach human rights abroad, govt. must to do more, finds study

Author: Deutsche Welle

In a joint publication [...] NGOs Germanwatch and Misereor have highlighted numerous examples of human rights abuses by German companies operating abroad... A third of the abuse allegations are concerning businesses in the energy and raw materials sector... Misereor and Germanwatch are highly critical of the German government's response, stating that last year's National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights has led to no substantial improvements... "Our research and analysis of 30 companies shows that - while some have adopted human rights policies, undertake risk assessments and have implemented a complaints procedure - in large part these initiatives fall far short of the UN guiding principles for business and human rights," says Bals [head of Germanwatch]. From 2018, the government will be conducting an annual review of German companies' attention to human rights. From 2020, according to the review results, it will consider introducing regulatory rights' protections.

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