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National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights for Australia – Briefing paper

As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, a candidate for the UN Human Rights Council and a wealthy, stable middle power, Australia is well-placed to play a lead role in the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. However, while the Australian Government co-sponsored the UN Human Rights Council resolution endorsing the Guiding Principles, it has not yet formally incorporated them into national law and policy. The primary way in which governments around the world are driving and guiding implementation is through the development of National Action Plans on the implementation of the Guiding Principles (NAPs). This briefing paper provides background on the Guiding Principles and outlines the case for the development of an Australian NAP. It draws on the experience of other states and on the significant work of UN bodies, civil society organisations and National Human Rights Institutions that are working to promote coherent and effective practice in the implementation of the Guiding Principles.