Business Impacts on Human Rights: Developing National Action Plans for EU Member States
[26-06-2012]DIHR has contributed to an important new paper on how states should implement their responsibilities to regulate the human rights impacts of businesses, at home and abroad.
Developed by DIHR, the European Group of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) has now published a discussion paper that provides concrete recommendations on how EU Member states should produce national action plans – and what issues they need to address.
The EU Commission Communication on CSR of November 2011 invites EU Member States to develop national plans to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Business.
In their paper, the European Group of NHRIs highlight that such national action plans need to be developed through an inclusive, rights-based process that involve people whose human rights are affected, inside and outside of national jurisdictions. The plans should also be based on a full, detailed baseline analysis of the adequacy of national measures designed to prevent and control negative impacts of business activity on human rights. Finally, the Euro NHRIs urge that action plans must include achievable targets, milestones for delivery, and performance indicators, for state and business actors, to provide accountability to rights holders and the wider society.
Claire Methven O’Brien, Senior Adviser and lead drafter on the paper, commented:
- The EU Commission’s invitation to Member States to produce national plans on human rights and business is a huge opportunity.
Doing a baseline study of national regulations of business, and making a national plan, with input from people affected by the activities of companies - at home and abroad - offers EU Member States a chance to make major progress towards effective implementation of the new standards on business and human rights agreed at the UN last year.
- The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, for the first time, set a world-wide minimum standard for governments and businesses. The EU and Member State governments have publicly stated support for the Guiding Principles on many occasions. Now it is time for Member States to put their words into action. The European Group paper offers important new proposals on how that should be done.
For further information, contact Claire Methven O’Brien, Senior Adviser (cob [at] humanrights.dk).