Guidance: Toolkit on National Action Plans on business & human rights


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1 July 2014

Full report

"National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights. A Toolkit for the Development, Implementation, and Review of State Commitments to Business and Human Rights Frameworks", 30 Jun 2014

In June 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). Three years later, in June 2014, the UNHRC called on all Member States to develop National Action Plans (NAPs) to promote the implementation of the UNGPs within their respective national contexts.2 This development followed similar requests to Member States made by the European Union (EU) in 20113 and 20124 and by the Council of Europe (CoE) in 2014.5 Since 2011, and due in part to these initiatives, a number of individual States have developed and published NAPs on business and human rights, and many more are currently in the process. This report aims to support the development, implementation, and review of NAPs on business and human rights. It does so by providing a "NAPs Toolkit" that is intended to guide and assist governments and other actors in producing both National Baseline Assessments (NBAs) of current State implementation of the UNGPs and actual NAPs on business and human rights. It also presents a mapping and analysis of options at the international and regional levels for monitoring and review of NAPs once they are developed in order to optimize their value within and between countries as a means for improving governance, regulation, and, ultimately, respect for human rights. The NAPs Toolkit is also aimed at informing the current development of guidance on NAPs by the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises (UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights), as well as other initiatives and projects focused on analyzing existing NAPs and issuing guidance for their development, implementation, and review.

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30 June 2014

10 Criteria for National Action Plans (NAPs) on Business and Human Rights

A government, through or in connection with its NAP, should: 1. Clearly identify and publicly communicate leadership and ownership of the NAP development and implementation process within the government; 2. Devise and publish terms of reference and a timeline for the NAP process; 3. Allocate adequate resources to the NAP process, from beginning to end; 4. Ensure effective participation by all relevant stakeholders through stakeholder mapping and capacity-building and by ensuring participation by disempowered or at-risk stakeholders; 5. Begin its process by conducting a national baseline assessment of the government's current implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and relevant frameworks, and base the content of the NAP on the results of this baseline assessment; 6. Address the full scope of the UNGPs within the NAP, as well as the full extent of the State's territory and jurisdiction; 7. Articulate action points (i.e. commitments) within the NAP that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-specific; 8. Implement a NAP process that is fully transparent, includes publication of drafts of the NAP, and provides public summary reports of any stakeholder engagement; 9. Identify who is responsible for the implementation of individual action points within the NAP and overall follow-up; 10. Map a framework for the monitoring of and reporting on implementation of the NAP once published.

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30 June 2014

Press release

"Major New Report Outlines How Governments Can Put Corporate Responsibility for Human Rights in Motion", 30 Jun 2014

As the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva prepares to take new actions on the question of how to make businesses more accountable for their human rights impacts, a major guidance on what governments themselves should do to promote better corporate human rights practices. The report is the result of a joint project of the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)...and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR)..."This report establishes new guidelines to help national leaders and administrations integrate respect for human rights into corporate cultures," said Amol Mehra, Director of ICAR. "The report reflects insights from hundreds of experts so that governments and other organizations can learn what works, and what doesn't. The goal of the report is for the public and private sectors, no matter the country, to work together to protect human rights." "How to make our economies more sustainable is the question of our time. Bringing corporate conduct in line with people's human rights is a critical part of that. This report signals a significant step forward in understanding how governments can and should follow through on the commitments they have made to secure that goal," said Claire Methven O'Brien, Special Adviser at DIHR. "There's great interest in this report and the tools it provides, both from governments and civil society, and we're already engaging with a range of organizations who plan to use the report to promote dialogue and policy reform in their own countries." "Our project identified a strong consensus across world regions and across stakeholder groups: people want their governments to step up to the plate and implement commitments made on corporate accountability for human rights," said Mehra. "And they see an inclusive national process, involving businesses along with civil society organizations, affected communities, and other governments, as the best way of securing that goal."

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