5. National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

5.7 Pillar 1: state duty to protect

5.7.1 Fundamental principles and Guiding Principle 1: general duty to protect [page 13]

Guiding Principle 2: Business enterprises’ foreign operations

The Federal Council regards preventing human rights abuses by Swiss companies abroad, and ensuring access to effective remedy, as integral parts of its State duty to protect and its constitutional mandate to promote respect for human rights. This is particularly true with regard to the foreign activities of companies that are based in Switzerland.

However, in view of the political, legal and practical obstacles to the extraterritorial pursuit of policy and application and enforcement of law, the federal government is concentrating on domestic measures, the reach of which extends to partner States and the activities of business enterprises abroad. It also promotes international agreements and standards. As part of its international cooperation efforts, it supports States in the fulfilment of their duties under international law to protect.