National Action Plan – production and objectives [page 6-7]

“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 – modern-day slavery, child labour, and 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.”

Most serious infringements of working conditions [page 16-18]

“In 2009, there was a case where at least 22 construction workers were found to have been enslaved for up to 2 years (Judgment of the Supreme Court 4 Tdo 366/2013 of 14 May 2013).”

“Tasks: …

  • Raise law enforcement agencies’ awareness of issues specific to human trafficking, with a stress on victim protection and the non-punishment principle (i.e. the impunity and protection of those who have been forced into criminal activity). Take this principle into account in the preparation of legislation that may touch on human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
    Coordinators: Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice
    Deadline: Running”

Supply chains and conflict minerals [page 20]

“Increasing attention is being paid to safety conditions at work (e.g. the use of slave and child labour in mining). Risks of this type are particularly serious in areas plagued by armed conflict, which can be attributed to the absence of state authority here. Raw materials imported from geopolitically unstable regions and flashpoints may be used as a source of funding to reconstruct the country and improve the conditions in which its inhabitants live. On the other hand, various groups may exploit slave or child labour in mining operations or in factories, and the proceeds from sales could then be used to pay for weapons and soldiers.”

 Pillar II, Scope and content of the obligation to respect human rights [page 30-31]

“- 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: …

  • The use of suppliers or subcontractors who exploit child labour or otherwise violate human rights in their activities.”

“What human rights? States bear liability for the full range of human rights. Businesses are required to respect those rights that could be affected by their operations, and must do so to the extent of a definite minimum, generally acknowledged fundamental standard deriving from:

  • the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  • the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
  • the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; and
  • the International Labour Organisation’s core conventions. [the footnote states that “There are eight such “core conventions”, dealing with forced labour (the 1930 and 1957 conventions), freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, equal remuneration, discrimination, minimum worker ages, and the eradication of child labour.”]

These rights are fleshed out in a series of other specific instruments, such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

In practice, this concerns matters such as the ban on forced labour, child labour, and life- or health-threatening working conditions”.