NAP Development Process
The Ukrainian Ministry of Justice announced it was beginning a process to develop a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights in January 2019. A National Baseline Assessment was published in late 2019.
In March 2021, it was announced that Ukraine adopted a chapter on business and human rights within a broader human rights national action plan.
Officially: Ukraine has adopted the BHR chapter as part of the National Strategy for Human Rights.
Fuhhh :) the way was long..and it’s the start of new long story.
— Olena Uvarova (@BHRinUkraine) March 24, 2021
An unofficial English translation of the business and human rights chapter can be found here. Initial communications during the development of the national Chapter on Business and Human Rights pointed to the intention to include as an action the development of a standalone NAP on Business and Human Rights. As of April 2021, it is uncertain, whether Ukraine is still pursuing this idea of a standalone NAP on Business and Human Rights, as the language in the national Chapter leaves room for interpretation.
In 2017, in the lead up to the announcement of the NAP process, a pilot study on human rights and business issues in Ukraine was published by the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University. The study was based on the Danish Institute for Human Rights’ methodology of country guides on human rights and business.
In 2018, joint efforts by the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University and the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice led to:
- the Ukrainian translation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
- the Ukrainian translation of the Toolkit on National Action Plans for Business and Human Rights (DIHR, ICAR, 2017 ed.),
- the Ukrainian translation of Business and Human Rights Guidance for Bar Associations adopted by the International Bar Association (IBA)
- a 2018 multi-stakeholder panel discussion on UN Guiding Principles implementation in Ukraine in Kharkiv, where the idea of a NAP process was first discussed.
In early 2020, the Ministry of Justice started updating the National Human Rights Strategy (the previous edition was adapted in 2015 and didn’t cover business and human rights explicitly). For this purpose, there was an open call for proposals on what changes should be made to the National strategy (NS).
One of the proposals was to include a new chapter – on Business and Human Rights – in the National Strategy. This proposal was supported by the Ombudsperson’s Office, OECD National Contact Point and a number of CSOs.
In November 2020, speaking at the Plenary session of the 9th UN Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, the Deputy Minister of Justice, Ms. Valeria Kolomiets, announced that the BHR chapter would be adopted as part of the National Human Rights Strategy. Accordingly, the National Action Plan on the implementation of the National Strategy would include key actions to implement the BHR chapter.
Select civil society and governmental stakeholders were being consulted in the drafting stage of the National Baseline Assessment. The NBA draft was also published for consultation.
The draft of the BHR chapter was developed and discussed with the participation of the Governmental Commissioner for Gender Equality, the Federation of Employers, the Federation of Trade Unions, business associations, CSOs, UNDP in Ukraine and other stakeholders. In total, three open discussions were conducted virtually (due to Covid-19) by the MoJ to discuss all proposals related to the BHR chapter.
On 24 March 2021, the Business and Human Rights chapter as part of the National Strategy was adopted by the President of Ukraine.
The Ministry of Justice published a press release announcing the commencement of the NAP process in Q1 2019. Changing administrations and focal points within the leading Ministry made communication around the BHR chapter more challenging, but overall the process aimed to be transparent.
National Baseline Assessment (NBA)
The Ministry of Justice tasked the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University with developing a National Baseline Assessment, which was published in 2019. It entails a thorough analysis of legislative and institutional frameworks to see how the UNGPs are currently realised. It is being undertaken based on the methodology developed by the Danish Institute for Human Rights and ICAR (2nd edition of 2017). Additionally, a questionnaire for businesses was developed by the Ministry of Justice in order to start assessing the status of human rights due diligence implementation by businesses in Ukraine. The questionnaire is based on a similar survey developed by the Scottish Human Rights Commission.