National Action Plan – production and objectives [page 6]
CSR encompasses areas such as … environmental protection, and the setting-up and running of community facilities.
The concept of business and human rights, on the other hand, is rooted in the fact that certain unwelcome developments should not happen in the course of business activities per se. Respect for human rights is not inherently voluntary – … environmental over-exploitation cannot be dependent on corporate goodwill. However, this Action Plan’s commitments to mitigate and suppress the risk of such occurrences in the absence of the state regulation that would prevent them directly are voluntary. They also make it easier for businesses to keep clear of such situations in their supply chains and among their business partners.
Pillar I: state duty to protect human rights
State aid, guarantees and subsidies
Implements Principles 4 and 7 [page 25]
On 1 January 2004, the OECD Recommendation on Common Approaches on the Environment and Officially Supported Export Credits entered into force. That Recommendation includes a commitment by all Member States not to assist – through their institutions – environmentally harmful projects. In June 2012, the OECD Council adopted the Recommendation on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence, which expands and reinforces the original provisions on the environmental and social aspects of officially supported exports. The new Recommendation establishes simpler, more readily accessible procedure for the categorisation of projects according to their environmental and social impact in the countries where they are to be implemented. The main change is the greater stress on the social impacts of projects and the aspects thereof that have a bearing on human rights in the countries of implementation.
Current state of play:
- In its activities, EGAP abides by the Recommendation of the OECD Council on officially supported export credits.
- CEB and EGAP are subject to the European Union’s sanctioning regimes. State aid will not be granted if it is to be directed towards states or individuals who have been sanctioned by the European Union.
- Aid applicants must submit a detailed environmental impact assessment for a selected export where CEB- and EGAP-backed projects have a larger-scale environmental and social impact.
- Where possible, in subsidy agreements take account of social, environmental and other non-financial indicators and requirements concerning the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s subcontractors.
- Coordinator: All ministries concerned
- Deadline: Running
Pillar II baselines: Human rights as a moral and ethical obligation
Scope and content of the obligation to respect human rights [page 30]
For businesses, there are three dimensions to respect for human rights:
- Do not commit violations of human rights: This applies to a business’s active conduct, the direct impacts of its decisions, and its operations, and may encompass:…
- The destruction of a source of water, permanent soil damage, and emissions that pose a threat to health.
- Do not be associated with violations of human rights: This applies to other parties’ activities about which a business knows, on which it has a bearing, and/or which are closely related to its own business, and may encompass:…
- Lending for a mining project that permanently damages the environment.
What human rights?
These rights are fleshed out in a series of other specific instruments, such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
…As for the external impacts of a business’s operations, this might encompass forced land seizure and population displacement, the ban on requisitioning or destroying natural resources that are vital to a local community, and the ban on destroying cultural heritage.