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Responding department: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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?

The Government of the Republic of Slovenia has taken the following steps to reduce companies negative impact on Human Rights, that we consider particularly successful:

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MfA) translated the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into Slovene (December 2013) and posted them on its internet site.
  • The MfA organized a multi-stakeholder Forum on Business and Human Rights in Ljubljana, December 10th, 2013. The Forum was attended by representatives from different stakeholders – line ministries, the Parliament, the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce, trade unions, businesses, media and academia.
  • The UN Guiding Principles were presented at the Forum (by the director of the UN Information Service) as was good practice in devising the Dutch national action plan. A representative of the MfA presented the UN Guiding Principles at the conference on social responsibility organized by the Slovene NGO IRDO Institute, in March 2014.

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

Within Slovenian Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs has leading and coordinative role for business and human rights. Coherence is assured by involving all relevant stakeholders, ministries and NGOs.

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

In order to develop a national action plan on business and human rights in May 2014, the Inter-Ministerial Commission on Human Rights formed a subcommittee (Expert Subcommittee for the Preparation of National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights). Members of the subcommittee are line ministries (Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Ministry of Infrastructure and Spatial Planning, Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Health) as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations and academic sphere. The Office of the Ombudsperson has a standing invitation. The Inter-Ministerial Commission on Human Rights is led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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 exact timeframe of the preparation of national action plan on business and human rights is not established yet, the first phase is planned to be concluded by spring 2015.

Access to remedy: What steps have been taken to develop new non-judicial remedies, improve existing mechanisms, and reduce barriers for victims?

The Slovenian National Contact Point (NCP) is located at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of Slovenia as an integral part of the Directorate for Tourism and Internationalization.

The NCP is an instrument of promotion and guarantee that multinational enterprises everywhere are familiar with the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises; that they follow them and, if possible; that they adopt their own internal value system, also in the field of human rights. The NCP is also a kind of a mediation body for addressing received notifications of violations of the guidelines (also in the field of human rights).

A leaflet in Slovene language was made to raise awareness of the OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises and Slovene NCP. Many promotional activities were made to promote this grievance mechanism also in the field of human rights.

Which factors impede your government’s ability to take action on business and human rights?

Most important factors are:

  • Lack of understanding or awareness of business & human rights in government
  • Challenges of coordinating across government departments

Significant factors are:

  • Lack of resources for enforcement, monitoring and prosecution

Minor factors are:

  • Opposition or lack of consensus within government
  • Concern about deterring foreign investment