NAP Development Process
Norway’s NAP, entitled Næringsliv og menneskerettigheter Nasjonal handlingsplan for oppfølging av FNs veiledende prinsipper‘ was launched on 12th October 2015.
CSR White Papers
Norway has pubished a number of CSR white papers. In the first CSR white paper (Report to the Parliament No 10, 2008-2009), published before the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles, the government expressed expectations that companies respect human rights in all their activities, including children’s, women’s and indigenous peoples rights as formulated in international conventions, including the ILO core conventions. [Norway response to a BHRRC survey]. In the White Paper/Report to the Parliament No. 27, 2013-2014, the government expressed an expectation that all companies assume responsibility for people, societies and the environment that are affected by their activities, including in relation to four key areas: climate and environment, human rights, labour rights and anti-corruption. This white paper focused on state-owned enterprises (the states’ direct ownership) and expressed expectations that companies with state shareholdings respect fundamental human rights as expressed in international conventions, in all their activities and that the enterprises follow up on such issues in relation to their suppliers and business relationships, as well as integrate relevant conditions related to human rights in all their activities and that they conduct relevant due diligence in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles.
The White Paper entitled “Opportunities for All: Human Rights in Norway’s Foreign Policy and Development Cooperation” (Report to the Storting No. 10, 2014-2015) on human rights as a tool in foreign and development policy, published on 12 December 2014, included a chapter on business and human rights (pages 57-61). This explained the UNGPs and expressed an expectation that companies respect human rights in accordance with the UNGPs. Moreover, the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency has strengthened its policy on environmental and social conditions, referring inter alia to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The inter-ministerial group responsible for developing this white paper was the group which drafted the NAP. Given that the NAP itself is explicitly described as a follow up to the White Paper, it can be seen as step in implementing it. [MFA website]
Between April and June 2013 (before the drafting phase commenced in November 2013), Mark Taylor, an external consultant from Fafo Research Foundation, conducted a mapping and gap analysis of government performance in relation to business and human rights. (See section: NBA).
The drafting process was coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, supported by the inter-ministerial group responsible for the drafting process. The process involved all ministries, with particularly strong engagement from:
- The Ministry of Trade;
- The Industry and Fisheries;
- The Ministry of Finance; and
- The Ministry of Justice.
The NAP was published on 12 October 2015 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to information provided by Norway in its reply to the BHRRC survey, “several series of consultations, both multi-stakeholder and separate meetings with business, civil society and indigenous peoples’ representatives, have proven invaluable.”
However it seems that ‘Kompakt’ played the main consulting role . This was the key forum for stakeholder consultations as a body, including various stakeholders engaged with responsible business conduct. Members of ‘Kompakt’, led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are appointed for a two year period and represent the authorities, the private sector, trade unions, civil society and academia. In February 2013, the government responded to a request by the working group of Kompakt (in Norweigan), by formulating a NAP. The government commissioned mapping and gap analysis as a first step, which was also intended to be an input into the eventual NAP. Following the change of government in September 2013, a decision was made to proceed with the NAP. They were consulted in regard to the analysis created by an independent consultant in 2013.
The Norweigan government maintains a website on its NAP.
National Baseline Assessment (NBA)
After the Norwegian government decided to develop an action plan for national implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, a mapping and gap analysis was conducted as a contribution to that effort.
The Norwegian government hired Mark Taylor from the FAFO Institute for Applied International Studies to conduct gap analysis.
The mapping was carried out in line with the Terms of referenceduring the course of 8 weeks by one person. It was conducted through interviews with officials from various ministries and government institutions, including the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The relevant White Papers, official strategy documents, laws and regulations and ministries’ web pages were also analysed as part of the mapping. Follow-up interviews were conducted by email and telephone. A selection of texts from the interviews and email correspondence are included in the mapping section of the report. Interviews were also conducted with representatives of NGOs, including Amnesty International Norway, Fellesforbundet (a trade union), Forum for Environment and Development, the Norwegian Peace Association, LO (the principle trade union federation) and NHO (the principle association of employers). The study consists of two parts: a survey of Norwegian public bodies and their relevance to business and human rights, and the identification of the gaps between Norwegian state practice and the standards set out in the UN Guiding Principles.
Follow-up, monitoring, reporting and review
The NAP states that each relevant ministry will be responsible for assessing the need for legislative amendments and other measures in its area of expertise. An inter-ministerial working group (headed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is to be appointed to assess the need for follow-up of international decisions and to ensure coordinated implementation of the action plan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also held several events on the NAP and what it means for business, including with regards to human rights due diligence. For example, it held an event on October 12, 2015 together with the Federation of Norwegian businesses (NHO) and a seminar on November 12th, 2015 with the Norwegian NCP OECD and Ethical Trading Initiative (Norway).
The intention behind these events was to start a dialogue between the government, business and civil society on how to implement the UNGPs.
Stakeholders views and analysis on the NAP
- Andreas Graf: Developing National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights, April, 2013
- The Initiative for Ethical Trade: Skuffande lite handling i handlingsplanen, 13 October 2015
- ForUM for Utvikling og Miljø: Slapp handlingsplan, October 2015
- Kristine Jesnes: Historisk plan for næringsliv og menneskerettigheter, 13 October 2015
- Prof. Beate Sjåfjell: Næringsliv basert på ødelagte menneskeliv?, 23 March 2017