The National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights was drawn up by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, with the Federal Foreign Office as lead ministry.
In late 2014, these six ministries set up a steering group in cooperation with stakeholders from German business associations, trade unions and non-governmental organisations. The German Institute for Human Rights and econsense, the Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business, were advisory members.
The National Action Plan was drawn up in two stages – a consultation phase and a drafting phase. Following the conference to launch the process in November 2014 which was attended by business people, trade unionists, policymakers, officials, members of civil society and academics, the German Institute for Human Rights drew up a national baseline assessment to show the status of implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Germany and what still needed to be done to complete implementation. The findings of the report were discussed and key action areas were identified at a further plenary meeting in May 2015. Consultations with experts were then held for each of these ten action areas. The findings from the consultations were compiled at a plenary meeting at the end of 2015, thus concluding the consultation phase.
The German Government began drawing up the National Action Plan at the start of 2016. In summer 2016, the first draft of the National Action Plan was presented to those involved in the process and to the public for their comments. Following a process lasting around two-and-a-half years, the Cabinet adopted the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights on 21 December 2016.
A series of consultations with experts was held between April and November 2015 and addressed various key issues. Members of the steering group took charge of particular issues and organised the consultations on these topics, including the logistics and agendas.
The German Government, business sector and civil society were allowed to appoint a limited number of experts for each consultation.
Following the consultations, stakeholders and the public had an opportunity to submit written comments to the Task Force on Business and Human Rights.