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Responding department: DG for Internalization Policy and the Promotion of Trade

Note: This response was originally submitted in Italian (see here).  Unofficial English translation provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.

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Italy has made an international contribution to the drafting and adoption of the new 2012 OECD Council Recommendation on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and subsidised export credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence. The Recommendation makes specific reference to the work of Professor Ruggie and stands as a commitment to ensure that export credit operations meet international standards including elements of due diligence and the promotion of human rights.

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 adopted a National Action Plan on business and human rights in March 2014.

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 the area of export credits, the Plan stipulates that provisions in the previously cited Common Approaches OECD Council Recommendation are to be applied for publically supported export credits and environmental and social due diligence. Export credit agencies were involved in the process.

The Common Approaches OECD Council recommendation is not legally binding. However, in the event of violations of Italian laws, there is scope for foreign citizen/business to appeal to an Italian civil judge. The criteria determining the jurisdiction is set forth in the International Private Law Act (L. 218/1995).

Access to remedy: For companies headquartered in your country or their subsidiaries, has your government taken steps to enhance accountability for human rights impacts abroad?

Thanks to the Common Approaches OECD Recommendation, accountability can be achieved regarding both the exports of Italian companies and the impact of their exports. Before providing their services, export credit agencies carry out social and environmental impact assessments based on the Common Approaches.