2 The corporate responsibility to respect human rights [page 13]

“The Government’s clear expectation is that companies operating in Sweden or abroad respect human rights in all their activities. This means that their business activity should not cause, contribute or be linked to human rights abuses, not least in conflict-affected areas, and that they should act to prevent such abuses. Similarly, they should address adverse human rights impacts with which they are involved.”

Annex: Measures taken [page 22]

The State as actor

  • “The conduct of companies in relation to armed conflicts is highly relevant to respect for human rights. Sweden has proposed sharper formulations in the draft regulation on responsible trade in minerals from conflict areas that is currently being discussed in the EU. In other words, we consider it should be mandatory for importers from particularly problematic countries to obtain certification. Sweden is carrying out awareness-raising activities on this issue and supports the OECD’s work on how companies are to identify risks in the supply chain and avoid trade in conflict minerals (OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas).”

Annex: Measures planned [page 27-28]

How can the State support the business sector?

  • “At Swedish embassies, knowledge about CSR and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights will be enhanced through training initiatives. Embassies should use their local networks for Swedish and other companies, government agencies, trade unions and NGOs for support, cooperation and dialogue on how best to respect human rights. Embassies should be prepared to capture information about potential problems related to human rights and Swedish companies, especially in conflict-affected countries.”