NAP Development Process
Lithuania adopted a National Action Plan on the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in February 2015.
In July 2018, Lithuania stated as part of its Voluntary National Review at the High Level Political Forum that it plans “to draw up the second national action plan on business and human rights in 2018 following the guidelines of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United Nations.”
The intention to develop a NAP on Business and Human Rights was first articulated on 6 August 2013 by the Deputy Chancellor of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. This was the starting point for the official drafting process which lasted from September 2013 until July 2014.
The draft document titled ‘Actions of Lithuania on the Implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’ was submitted to the Government for approval in July 2014. The draft was prepared by the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On February 9, 2015 the Government of the Republic of Lithuania launched the document “Lithuania’s action plan on the implementation of the United Nations core principles on business and human rights” (NAP). The document outlines actions and measures approved by the Government of Lithuania to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
There is no more detailed information in English about the process used to create the NAP in Lithuania and level of stakeholder engagement, if any.
The NAP does not specify any follow-up procedures for implementation of the commitments made within the NAP, and it does not provide any timeline for rewriting or updating the NAP.
Alignment of existing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) frameworks with the Guiding Principles
In November 2011 Lithuania welcomed the European Union initiative related to business and human rights issues – A renewed EU strategy 2011-2014 for Corporate Social Responsibility – and launched a National Program of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (for the period of 2012-2016) as well as in the Program of the previous Government (for the period of 2008-2012). The Lithuanian Government has declared that responsible business and social responsibility of enterprises are essential pre-requisites for sustainable development. The strategic goal of the National Program is to provide necessary conditions for the development of social responsibility and to encourage companies to apply its principles in their behaviour. (…) While there is no direct reference to human rights issues, Lithuania stressed in its communication to the UN that one of the criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the implementation of the National Program is the number of companies that have started to apply the principles of CSR (respect for human rights and rights of workers, environment protection and the fight against corruption in all its manifestations) as well as to publish public CSR reports in the Lithuanian language.
Additionally, the NAP refers to the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, and the National Programme for the Development of CSR. It also refers to the Lithuania National Progress Programme 2014-2020, in which “Task 3.3. ‘Implementation of sustainable development principles in businesses’ of the Lithuanian Progress Strategy goal 3 ‘Promotion of business productivity and sustainable development’ presents measures related to promotion of CSR and social businesses.” The National Progress Strategy also introduced horizontal principles related to sustainable development, gender equality and non-discrimination.
Follow-up, monitoring, reporting and review
In section III. Implementing Provisions, the NAP states that it is to be “implemented as part of the Government programme and other strategic documents when preparing amendments of relevant legal acts and in cooperation with relevant institutions and organizations.”
The NAP identifies the responsible governmental agency for only 9 out of 16 measures foreseen in the NAP. Many of the references to responsible agencies are found in the footnotes.
There is no indication as to which ministry/agency is in charge of the overall follow-up of commitments found in the NAP.
There is also no specific framework laid out for monitoring of, and reporting on, the progress of NAP implementation. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, the implementation of the various themes of the NAP are tracked in detail through national reporting procedures under regional and international conventions. Nevertheless, it remains unclear which ministry is responsible for which part of the NAP and specifically the fact that no ministry is responsible for monitoring the overall progress is problematic.
According to Lithuania’s reply to the OHCHR survey concerning implementation of the UNGPs, the NAP led to an amendment of Article 5 of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in June 2016. This amendment means that an employer, or its representative, is now obliged to take measures to prevent employees not only from sexual harassment, but also from any harassment.
As of August 2018, no official progress reports have been published.
During its Voluntary National Review at the High Level Political Forum in July 2018, Lithuania stated:
“With a view to combating discrimination and establishing human rights in the labour market and business, it is planned to draw up the second national action plan on business and human rights in 2018 following the guidelines of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United Nations.”
Stakeholders views and analysis on the NAP
International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), European Coalition for corporate Justice (ECCJ): Assessments of Existing National Action Plans (NAPS) on Business and Human Rights, November, 2015;