2 National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights 2020-23

2.1 Pillar 1: state duty to protect

 

2.1.3 The State-business nexus

Guiding Principles 4 to 5

Given the federal government’s direct influence on the activities of federal government-associated businesses, it has a particular obligation to ensure that these companies respect human rights, for example by conducting human rights due diligence. It also expects federal government-associated businesses to have in place human rights best practices.

 

Measure 9: Human rights due diligence by federal government-associated businesses

The Federal Council defines its strategic goals for federal government-associated businesses every four years and expects these companies to pursue a sustainable corporate strategy to the best of their business ability. As regards the protection of human rights, a number of these businesses already exercise due diligence and document these efforts in their reporting.

To advance the implementation of UN Guiding Principles by federal government-associated businesses, interdepartmental coordination must be stepped up. Failure by these entities to meet international standards on human rights due diligence could pose a reputational risk to the federal government. The Federal Council therefore intends to assist federal government-associated businesses in playing a lead role by raising awareness of human rights due diligence and promoting the exchange of best practices, particularly with regard to risk management, monitoring and public reporting. This optional measure is geared primarily towards federal government-associated businesses which work with suppliers and business partners abroad.

The federal government may also run optional training sessions on UN Guiding Principles and human rights due diligence for the members of boards of directors and senior management of federal government-associated businesses.

Objective Indicator Responsibility
Assist federal government-associated businesses in taking a lead role and encourage them to put in place human rights due diligence procedures. Examples of human rights due diligence exercised by federal government-associated businesses.

At least one training session held for federal government-associated businesses.

FDFA [Federal Department of Foreign Affairs],

DETEC [Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications],

EAER [Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research].