People work in a large copper mine. © GIZ / Dirk Ostermeier

Implementing sector dialogues on human rights due diligence obligations

Sector dialogues to support the implementation of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Right

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS)

  • Country
  • Overall term

    2018 to 2025

  • Products and expertise

    Economic development and employment

Context

The German Government adopted the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP) in 2016. For the first time, it enshrines the responsibility of German companies to respect human rights. The NAP implements the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN Guiding Principles) in Germany. The aim is to improve the human rights situation along global supply chains.

In this context, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) commissions the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to conduct sector dialogues. The members develop a common understanding of sector-specific human rights risks, draw up implementation-oriented publications and implement joint pilot projects.

Objective

The human rights situation along the global supply chains of German companies has improved.

Approach

The project conducts sector dialogues that take place in a multi-stage process with various stakeholder groups. The dialogues involve companies, associations, trade unions, non-governmental organisations, initiatives, institutions and ministries.

The project set up the first sector dialogue with the automotive industry in 2020. The members developed guidelines for integrating due diligence obligations into operational management. The participants also devised and implemented pilot projects, such as cross-company grievance mechanisms.

Since 2023, the project has been implementing the Sector Dialogue Energy Industry, which initially develops an understanding of sector-specific human rights risks. In the next step, participants design measures to prevent and remedy the negative impacts of bauxite mining in Guinea and to protect against risks in the construction and operation of large energy plants.

The project also organises cross-sector events on the implementation of due diligence obligations in global supply chains.

Last update: May 2024

Additional information