The United Nations’ guiding principles for business and human rights provide a framework for responsibility in the area of human rights in our globalised economy. In creating a national action plan, the Federal Government intends to make a contribution to applying these guiding principles with the participation of all sections of society.
The Federal Government launched work on the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights at the opening conference on 6 November 2014 in the Europasaal of the Federal Foreign Office.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement on the project in Berlin on 6 November:
Not only governments, but also companies must take responsibility for human rights in their global business activities. What is profitable for some should not harm anyone else. We intend to create a framework for this with the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights. Our aim is that we all, the Federal Government as well as civil society, academia and enterprises, critically examine our behaviour and become active when we identify areas in need of improvement.
The Federal Foreign Office is spearheading this process with the participation of all ministries concerned and with the involvement of the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, Christoph Strässer. In addition to the Federal Foreign Office, the ministries working on this project include the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV), the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
Broad-based dialogue with all sections of society
The working process envisaged to draw up the National Action Plan was presented at the conference in the Europasaal on 6 November. The event therefore launched a process that is intended to facilitate a broad-based dialogue with all sections of society. One of the Federal Government’s principle objectives is to enter into a dialogue with all relevant actors from the worlds of business, politics, civil society, associations and academia. The aim is to have the largest possible social consensus united behind the Federal Government’s National Action Plan, which is to be adopted in 2016.