NAP sector dialogues strengthen human rights in international supply chains

Project description

Title: Advice on sector dialogues to implement the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS)
Country: Germany
Overall term: 2018 to 2020

Context

Companies can have both positive and negative effects on compliance with human rights. These effects may result not only from their own business operations, but also from their business relationships with other firms along global supply and value chains. This includes relationships with all companies that extract, produce and distribute raw materials or processed products as suppliers, as well as with those offering services such as recycling. Many internationally acknowledged framework agreements demand that companies exercise due diligence to respect human rights in global supply and value chains.

In this context, the German Government passed the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP) at a Cabinet meeting in 2016. This National Action Plan implements the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in Germany.

In the NAP, the German Government formulates the clear expectation that German companies, and companies located in Germany, implement the due diligence obligations with regard to human rights in an appropriate manner. Against this backdrop, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) is holding NAP sector dialogues. These dialogues are being conducted in the sectors of the German economy that face particular challenges with regard to human rights.

Objective

In providing specialist, methodological advice to BMAS and planning and implementing the NAP sector dialogues, the project is helping to ensure that the dialogues make an effective contribution to implementing the NAP and the UNGPs.

Approach

In the NAP sector dialogues, companies, associations, non-governmental organisations and trade unions work together to draw up guidelines and examples of best practices for selected sectors. These guidelines and examples of best practices help to ensure that companies exercise a higher level of due diligence with regard to human rights in the supply chain.

The sectors are selected on the basis of a scientific study commissioned by BMAS, which analyses human rights protection in global supply and value chains. Sector dialogues are a form of support offered by the German Government and participation is voluntary. To this end, the project maintains an NAP sector dialogue office in close consultation with BMAS that is responsible for holding up to three sector dialogues.