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Publication and dissemination of existing documents, education and awareness-raising [page 9-11]

“Implements Principles 2, 3c and 8

Increasing attention is paid to the theme of business and human rights in recent years. Many countries, international organisations and universities have produced numerous documents, model professional and theme-based codes of conduct, examples of good practice, recommendations and guidelines. Examples include recommendations and model codes published by the OECD, EU bodies, the Council of Europe and the ILO, as well as examples of good practice from the business community. However, these documents have not been gathered in one place. Businesses wishing to guard against human rights risks in their operations, perhaps by introducing new internal control mechanisms, adopting a code of conduct or incorporating human rights clauses into their contracts, may find it difficult to look up information.

A sound of response would be to find these documents, collect them in one place, classify them and, where necessary, translate them into Czech so that texts on business and human rights are made available to the general public. When new materials are drawn up, they should be written in plain language that a layman can easily understand.

The world’s universities are also aware of how important this subject is. The “Teach BHR” platform, grouping together those who teach business and human rights at universities, currently has 240 members from 140 institutions in 32 countries. It also offers ready-made study materials, workshops and experience-sharing forums. When it comes to Czech higher-education institutions, the University of Economics, Prague, runs a specialised course called “Business and Human Rights”, and other colleges cover this topic, for example, as part of their business ethics courses.

Current state of play:

  • The Quality Council of the Czech Republic runs the National CSR Information Portal.
  • The supreme judicial bodies publish summaries of key rulings, especially those relevant to human rights.
  • Every year, the Government publishes a Report on the State of Human Rights and numerous other reports and documents analysing respect for human rights in the Czech Republic. Reports in the same vein are also published by other institutions, including the Ombudsman.
  • The National Contact Point for the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises is responsible for promoting the Guidelines and their instruments (seminars, training, promotional materials, etc.).
  • The Ministry of Industry and Trade, in cooperation with the Czech Trade Inspection Authority has launched the “Consumer Protection” project to provide information on the latest developments in consumer law.

Tasks:

  • Propose changes to the website of the National CSR Information Portal.
    Coordinator: Ministry of Trade and Industry
    Co-coordinator: Ministry for Human Rights
    Deadline: 30 June 2018
  • On the National CSR Information Portal, post documents and materials of business associations (the Czech Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of Industry, the Confederation of Employers’ and Business Associations of the Czech Republic, industry associations, and others), trade unions and NGOs active in corporate social responsibility for those businesses that take the voluntary decision to subscribe to human rights commitments.
    Coordinators: Ministry for Human Rights, Ministry of Industry and Trade
    Deadline: Running, following the completion of the previous task
  • Translate the UN Guiding Principles and other key documents into Czech.
    Coordinator: Ministry for Human Rights
    Deadline: 31 December 2017
  • Provide the National Portal administrator with business and human rights documents that the ministries have at their disposal and that concern their scope of responsibilities.
    Coordinators: All ministries
    Deadline: Running
  • Assess the vehicles in place to provide businesses with information on human rights risks in countries or regions where they are planning to set up operations.
    Coordinator: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Deadline: 31 December 2020”

Supply chains and conflict minerals [page 21]

“Current state of play:

  • The Czech Republic was involved in the consultation and approval of the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains. The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture will arrange for this Guidance to be published and publicised at their seminars and workshops.
  • The Czech Republic was involved in the consultation and approval of OECD recommendations on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas and Due Diligence Guidance for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement in the Extractive Sector. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is now considering how they can best be implemented in the Czech Republic.”

Non-financial reporting [page 21-22]

“Current state of play: …

  • The European Commission (DG FISMA [Directorate‑General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union]) has produced general guidelines for businesses on how to apply the Non-financial Reporting Directive.

Tasks:

  • Publish the European Commission’s general guidelines on the websites of the National CSR Portal, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Finance, and in Finanční zpravodaj (“Financial Bulletin”).
    Coordinator: Ministry for Human Rights, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Finance
    Deadline: 31 December 2017
  • Provide information on the guidelines as part of training courses or in guidance and informational materials on non-financial reporting.
    Coordinator: Ministry of Finance
    Deadline: Running”

Public procurement [page 23-24]

“…guidance should be drawn up for award procedure in accordance with human rights. This guidance should encompass specific practical examples, including model contractual provisions and/or a model tender dossier. The guidance should be accompanied by an overview of international platforms and initiatives sharing experience and information on socially responsible public contracts. This guidance should be preceded by consultations and should be produced in collaboration with business associations.

Current state of play:

  • Guidance on a responsible approach to public procurement and purchasing is being drawn up.

Tasks:

  • Incorporate human rights issues into the guidance that is being drawn up.
    Coordinator: Ministry of Regional Development
    Co-coordinators: Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Human Rights
    Deadline: 31 December 2017”

State enterprises and companies in which the state has a shareholding [page 26]

“Current state of play: …

External policy [page 28]

“Current state of play: …

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs already provides enterprises with a wide range of information to help them do business abroad.

Tasks:

  • Provide businesses abroad – through embassies – with advice and assistance to help them navigate the local environment, including the issues of the rule of law, human rights and corruption risks.
    Coordinator: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Deadline: Running, with an assessment in 2020”

Cooperation [page 39]

“Businesses in the same industry or in the same geographical area are exposed to similar problems, so it is more efficient for them to tackle them together. Cooperation could result in the exchange of good experience and practical examples, and in the creation of new instruments (in particular the conclusion of sectoral agreements or the adoption of sectoral standards).”

Documents and sources of information [page 39]

“The Office of the Government of the Czech Republic collects model documents, guidelines and materials intended for businesses to improve the performance of tasks in this chapter, and posts them on the National Corporate Social Responsibility Portal:

http://narodniportal.cz/

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