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Responding department: Task Force on Business and Human Rights, Federal Foreign Office

Note: This response was originally submitted in German.  Unofficial English translation provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.

Has your government taken any initiatives to reduce companies’ negative impacts on human rights that you consider particularly successful?

On 01 August 2014 Germany introduced a process for the creation of a National Action Plan to implement the UN Guiding Principles.

What department or departments have significant responsibility for business and human rights within your government?

The process is run under the auspices of the Federal Foreign Office and in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Development, Justice and Economic Affairs.

If your government has adopted a National Action Plan or is planning on adopting one, please highlight whether it makes reference to international human rights standards and whether it was developed in consultation with affected stakeholders.

In October the competent ministries instituted an enlarged steering group for the process. In addition to the ministries, the members comprise representatives from business, civil society, trade unions and the German Institute for Human Rights. The German Institute for Human Rights assists the process by preparing the necessary background studies. The Federal Foreign Office as lead agency is planning an inaugural conference with all the important groups of stakeholders on the 6th November. The process is planned for a period of 2 years and is to be based in particular on a broad dialogue between business, civil society and politics. At the end of the process the document will be adopted by the Cabinet and stand as a government document.

Please share with us any further comments, including ideas for future collaboration and shared learning to advance business & human rights.

The Foreign office will be glad to provide further detailed information during the process of developing [the NAP] regarding the question 3, 5 and 6.