5. National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

5.7 Pillar 1: state duty to protect

5.7.4 Business respect for human rights in conflict-affected areas [page 26]

Guiding Principle 7 [page 26-27]

Business enterprises operating in conflict-affected areas face a special set of human rights challenges. The federal government assists companies in conducting due diligence in conflict-affected and high-risk areas in a way that takes the local circumstances into account.” [paragraph 1, page 26].

PI22 Guidelines on human rights due diligence in conflict-affected and high-risk areas

Over the years, the federal government has supported the drafting of a number of guidelines addressing the situation in conflict-affected areas. These include the Guidance on Conflict Sensitive Business Practices or the extractive sector issued by International Alert, and the Red Flags initiative. Switzerland also provides financial support for the implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. In addition, Switzerland is a member of the multi-stakeholder group managing the implementation, spread and continued development of the Guidance. It is aimed primarily at companies operating in conflict-affected or high-risk areas in the extraction and trading of commodities.

PI23 Advisory and support services provided by Swiss representations abroad

… A number of Swiss representations in conflict-affected areas have developed innovative initiatives based on the UNGP–largely on an ad-hoc basis – to promote social responsibility on the part of Swiss business enterprises. …

PI25 Regulations on transparency and due diligence concerning minerals from conflict-affected areas

The introduction of transparency regulations for minerals from conflict-affected areas is a policy instrument that a number of OECD states have either already adopted or are seriously considering. The Federal Council is tracking international developments towards transparency and due diligence concerning minerals from conflict-affected areas, especially in the EU, and is observing their impact on the Swiss economy. …

PI26 Economic Sanctions

… the Ordinance on the International Trade in Rough Diamonds of 29 November 2002, which was issued on the basis of the Embargo Act. The Ordinance enacts relevant provisions of the Kimberley Process, which addresses the trade in diamonds from conflict-affected areas …”

5.7.5 Policy coherence

Guiding Principle 8 [page 30]

PI31 Awareness-raising and training programmes within the federal government

The federal government offers a block course on business and human rights as part of annual human rights training for employees of the Federal Administration, and as part of general human rights training for future diplomats. It also offers targeted training to further the expertise of employees at Swiss representations abroad, especially in conflict-affected and high-risk regions.