National Action Plans and State Implementation of RTR

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre: National Action Plans Portal

UN Working Group and National Action Plans 

ICAR and DIHR National Action Plans (NAPs) Project

  • Project Portal on BHRRC: ICAR and DIHR launched the National Action Plans (NAPs) Project in August 2013 with the goal of producing a robust toolkit in order to support the development and evaluation of NAPs on business and human rights in holding governments to account for progress in fulfilling the State duty to protect. The NAPs toolkit is comprised of three key components: 1. a model National Baseline Assessment (NBA); 2. a model National Action Plan (NAP); and 3. proposals for reporting and reviewing States’ implementation of NAPs. Combining research and consultations with stakeholders across Europe, Africa, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region, the NAPs Project aims to support progress by States toward effective implementation of the UNGPs.  The project actively seeks to inform and complement actions and initiatives in this area by all relevant actors, including individual States and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights.
  • 2013 Interim Report: This briefing was prepared by the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable and the Danish Institute for Human Rights relating to their project, National Action Plans:  State Strategies for the Implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  It provides an overview of the state duty to protect, recent NAPs developments in Europe and the US, and the plan and progress of the National Action Plans project.
  • UK Good Business: Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (September 2013)
    This is the national action plan published by the UK on 4 September 2013.  The UK government is the first to publish a national action plan on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  The plan sets out measures to be taken by the UK government to support and encourage business to respect human rights – particularly when operating overseas – and also sets out the government’s expectations of UK businesses.  This national action plan will be reviewed in 2015, and the UK government has stated that it welcomes feedback and suggestions from interested stakeholders.

The Netherlands’ Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (December 2013)

US Government resources on business and human rights

  • The US government has not developed an NAP on the implementation of the UNGPs or announced a process or intention to do so.  However, on 19 April 2013 it published this document, which illustrates how the US government approaches business and human rights issues and provides examples of laws, regulations and policies relevant to the intersection between these issues and what US companies need to know to respect human rights throughout their global operations.  The publication provides an example of the current momentum driving the consideration of business and human rights challenges by governments, even in states where national action plans are not yet in development.  Following its publication, Secretary of State John Kerry expressed the need of the US government to encourage business to respect human rights.

The Foundations of the Italian Action Plan on the UNGPS (March 2014)

  • The Italian government has released an 84-page document setting out the foundations of its approach to UNGPs implementation. The document addresses multiple areas under the State Duty to Protect including: policies related to agriculture, environment, sustainable development, labor and equal opportunities, foreign direct investments, export credit, public procurements and training for public administration). Under “Access to Remedy” measures the document addresses policies in relation to state judicial and non-judicial remedies. The introduction notes “Many political and parliamentary forces converge on the Italian priorities. In the current legislature, the “Special Commission for the protection and promotion of human rights” within the Senate and the “Permanent Committee on Human Rights” within the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies has been set up”.

IHRB State of Play Report – Human Rights in the Political Economy of States: Avenues for Application

  • IHRB’s third State of Play report catalogues the approaches being taken by States around the world to embed human rights within their economic activities.  The report, “State of Play: Human Rights within the Political Economies of States – Avenues for Application”, aims to unpick some of the motivations, incentives and disincentives driving one of the key business and human rights challenges for States – that of policy coherence. The Report gives examples from over 70 countries of recent State action within States’ economic and human rights agendas, and suggests that enhanced cooperation within and amongst States is needed if the promotion and regulation of more socially and environmentally sustainable business practices is to lead to better human rights outcomes.