Great news for officials, practitioners and academics in the field of human rights and business: A website mapping National Action Plans (NAPs) on business and human rights globally and an updated Toolkit providing step-by-step guidance on how to develop a NAP is now available.

The Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) proudly introduced a new website mapping National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights globally and 2017 edition of the Toolkit on NAPs on Business and Human Rights, produced in collaboration with the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, on 29th November 2017.

The website and 2017 edition Toolkit are the latest two initiatives within DIHR’s work on National Action Plans on business and human rights. NAPs promote country-level, multi-stakeholder implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Business (UNGPs) and other relevant sustainable development and human rights frameworks.

A digital overview of NAPs around the world

The website collates information from 1) countries that already have NAPs, 2) countries with an official commitment to develop a NAP, and 3) countries where non-state actors have taken efforts to start a NAP development process. Individual NAPs are then broken down to demonstrate how they address each UN Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights, and a wide range of human rights issues such as extractives, gender, and judicial remedy. The end product is an easily accessible resource for officials, practitioners, academics, and anyone with an interest in business and human rights, to gain a comprehensive overview and understanding of NAPs on business and human rights from around the world. The website will be continually updated so that users can always access information about new developments in the field of NAPs on business and human rights.

Updated Toolkit reflecting feedback from business and human rights practitioners

The 2017 edition of the DIHR/ICAR Toolkit on National Action Plans for Business and Human Rights is an update of our widely cited 2014 edition. The 2014 Toolkit is in active use in all regions of the world and has been used in many countries drafting NAPs, including Germany, Ireland, Chile, and Kenya. The 2017 edition has been updated to reflect feedback from practitioners who have used the Toolkit to develop national baseline assessments (NBAs) or NAPs. Specifically, the Toolkit provides step-by-step guidance on how to develop a NAP that is framed by a human rights-based approach promoting participation, non-discrimination, transparency, and accountability. Each section within the 2017 Toolkit contains good practice examples from around the world to demonstrate what can be achieved. It can also be used as a complementary resource to the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights’ Guidance on National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights, published in November 2016.

As part of the 2017 edition, we are also currently road-testing the draft National Baseline Assessment template (from November 2017 to May 2018). DIHR and ICAR welcome and encourage governments, business enterprises, civil society organisations, academics, and other interested actors to utilise this template and provide feedback during this period.

Eva Grambye, the Deputy Executive Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights, has noted:
“We welcome the recent NAPs on business and human rights and would like to see further states build from lessons learnt drawn from these early adopters to develop more ambitious and holistic NAPs designed to address ongoing human rights abuses. We have developed two complementary products which can help those charged with drafting NAPs, as well as National Human Rights Institutions, civil society organisations, and businesses engage with NAP processes. We welcome feedback to support periodic updates of these tools with good practices examples.”

Please share your comments, experiences, and concerns on the draft NBA template with DIHR and ICAR by 30 May 2018, by contacting either Paloma Muñoz Quick, Human Rights and Business Advisor at pamu@humanrights.dk or Cindy Woods, Legal and Policy Associate, at cindy@icar.ngo.

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