National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights


By stipulating homogeneous and verifiable global standards, the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights lays down German companies’ responsibilities to uphold human rights in a fixed framework.

The German Government adopted the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights at a cabinet meeting on 21 December 2016.

Business and human rights
Business and human rights© AA

This National Action Plan describes a wide catalogue of measures by the German Government to do even more to uphold the state’s duty to protect human rights, particularly in the business context.

At the same time, the National Action Plan lays down German companies’ responsibility to respect human rights in a fixed framework for the first time. In this way, the German Government has expressed its expectation that companies adhere to their human rights obligations and respect human rights along supply and value chains.

In adopting the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP), the German Government aims to help improve the human rights situation worldwide and to give globalisation a social dimension in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By creating reliable parameters for German companies, the German Government wants to achieve fair global competitive conditions.

In its National Action Plan, the German Government is implementing the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which were unanimously adopted by the Human Rights Council in 2011. The German Government will actively seek to further the implementation process and provide ongoing support to companies, for example in the form of basic guidance, training courses or guidelines.

The National Action Plan online

The German Government’s main information service on the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights is the website www.wirtschaft-menschenrechte.de , which forms part of the website service of the Government’s National Corporate Social Responsibility Forum. Information on the Government’s main activities and measures are posted on the site by various ministries and presented in a clear format. 
The Federal Foreign Office website provides additional information, particularly on the role of the Federal Foreign Office as chair of the Interministerial Committee on Business and Human Rights, international developments in the field of business and human rights, and further National Action Plan measures in areas specifically covered by the Federal Foreign Office. 


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