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Responding department: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Also available: Response to the UN Working Group surveys on implementation of the Guiding Principles

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

N/A

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

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Employment

Has your government undertaken new business & human rights initiatives or strengthened existing ones since the endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles in June 2011?

No

Has your government adopted a National Action Plan on business and human rights as encouraged by the UN Human Rights Council and UN Working Group on business & human rights, or will it do so in the future?

The Government of Ireland decided on 24 June 2014 that Ireland would develop a national plan for the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The Human Rights Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is leading the development of the plan.

An inter-departmental working group has been formed consisting of focal points from each Government Department. The National Plan on Business and Human Rights will build on the achievements of Ireland’s National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility which was published by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in April 2014.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade NGO Forum on Human Rights which took place on 7 November 2014 marked the start of the consultation process on Ireland’s National Plan.

The Forum provided an opportunity for business, NGOs, trade unions and academics to exchange views on best practices in relation to Business and Human Rights and in particular with a view to informing the process of development and the content of a Plan to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The Human Rights Unit has established a dedicated email inbox to which members of the public can send submissions in relation to the National Plan: [email protected]

The Department will engage in a consultation process beginning in January 2015 which will involve Government departments and agencies and in collaboration with the business community and civil society groups.