In 2015, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda). The 2030 Agenda established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), containing 169 global targets and 232 indicators to measure progress in implementation, and a set of follow-up and review principles and mechanisms. The 2030 Agenda seeks to achieve transformative change with respect to people, the planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, the precursor to the SDGs, the 2030 Agenda is universal, in the sense that it is applicable to all States. It also requires all actors in society to contribute to achieving the SDGs. The 2030 Agenda states that:
“Private business activity, investment and innovation are major drivers of productivity, inclusive economic growth and job creation. We acknowledge the diversity of the private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals. We call on all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges. We will foster a dynamic and well-functioning business sector, while protecting labour rights and environmental and health standards in accordance with relevant international standards and agreements and other on-going initiatives in this regard, such as the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the labour standards of ILO, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and key multilateral environmental agreements, for parties to those agreements.”+ Read more
Business and Industry also constitute one of the nine Major Groups which are major stakeholders in UN processes related to sustainable development.
In addition to minimising the adverse impacts of their core business on human rights, businesses can play additional roles in the implementation of the SDGs, such as providing basic services, including health and education; prioritising gender equality and women’s empowerment; participating in public-private partnerships; and by paying their taxes and refraining from tax avoidance. In all cases, business conduct should be carried out with respect for human rights.
The 2030 Agenda encourages businesses to adopt specific measures to contribute constructively to the SDGs, including target 12.6, which calls on States to encourage businesses to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate information on sustainability into their reporting cycles.
The links between the 2030 Agenda, human rights, and the role of business implies that States should ensure their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda align with the standards laid out by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). This can be achieved in a number of ways, including through National Action Plans (NAPs) on business and human rights that promote respect for human rights in relation to business’ contribution to implementation of the SDGs.
In the principles for Follow up and Review (FUR) of the 2030 Agenda, states are encouraged to conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national, regional, and international levels. In this context, States are encouraged to draw on contributions from various stakeholder groups. At the international level, the institutional framework for FUR revolves around the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), which comprises both thematic debates and voluntary State reviews. These voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate experience sharing and lessons learned, accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, strengthen government policies and institutions, and mobilise multi-stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the SDGs.
In 2016, 22 states volunteered for review, and in 2017 43 did so. At the national level, implementation processes will vary, but States’ human rights obligations can provide a starting point for the development of a human rights-based approach to national implementation. Because implementation of both the UNGPs and the SDGs can be facilitated through national action plans, there is considerable scope for these plans to be aligned and mutually reinforcing, to emphasise the contribution that responsible business can make to the achievement of the SDGs.
In a statement on the business and human rights dimension of the 2030 Agenda, the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights called on Member States developing SDG implementation plans at the national level to ensure “coherence with national action plans for the implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Conversely, national action plans focused on business and human rights should clarify how the Guiding Principles will be integrated in the context of SDG implementation.”
The Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) has developed analysis, tools and guidance to operationalise a human rights-based approach to the implementation of sustainable development. In that line, it has developed the Human Rights Guide to the SDGs to demonstrate the anchoring of the SDGs in human rights. This Guide highlights that over 90% of the 2030 Agenda’s 169 Targets are linked to provisions established in international human rights instruments and labour standards. In addition to that, during 2018, DIHR conducted a research project in Ghana and Kenya to explore the role of responsible business in advancing the SDGs. The project will assess the impacts of three different types of responsible business initiatives on specific dimensions of the SDGs: sector-specific responsible value chain initiatives, national action plans on business and human rights and non-judicial grievance mechanisms. In 2019, DIHR published a discussion paper “Responsible business conduct as a cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda – a look at the implications“. The discussion paper gives an overview of the connections between human rights, responsible business conduct and the 2030 Agenda and discusses existing connections, as well as potential synergies.
Various initiatives have been taken at the international arena in order to support the implementation of the SDGs. The UN-Secretary General established the UN SDG Action Campaign that is administered by the UN Development Programme and mandated to support the UN system-wide and the Member States on advocacy and public engagement in SDG implementation. This Campaign commits to engaging stakeholders and individuals to support Member States and UN Country Teams in the SDG implementation through direct people’s engagement. https://globalnaps.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/screenshot-2020-09-15-202805.jpg
Multi-stakeholder initiatives are addressing the issue of corporate reporting on the SDGs. The UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) have partnered to develop an Action Platform Reporting on the SDGs, which is comprised of two bodies: The Corporate Action Group and the Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee. The initiative expects three outcomes: Guides to reporting on SDGs, Recommendations on mining and aggregating business data on SDGs, and Lessons learned from emerging practices. The SDG Compass, developed by GRI, the UN Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, provides guidance for companies on how they can align their strategies as well as measure and manage their contribution to the realisation of the SDGs.
Various business enterprises are also committed to supporting the SDGs. According to a 2017 PriceWaterhouseCoopers study, 71% of businesses say they were already planning how they will contribute to the implementation of the SDGs.
For an in depth guide on how best to align achievement of the SDGs with human rights, including information on a wide variety of issues also featured on this website, see the Danish Institute for Human Rights’ Means of Implementation.
What National Action Plans say on The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
This globalization presents extraordinary opportunities for an open and commercially engaged country like Belgium. It also makes Belgium’s companies social actors in countries where they are active, far beyond the purely economic aspect. This reality cannot be conceived of an isolation from the rest of our foreign policy. Very committed to the universal principles of human rights as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Belgium wants to help its companies, whether public or private, to take these considerations structurally and horizontally in their operations in Belgium, certainly, but also abroad.
Belgium is fully aware that if it is to be effective, this work must be done in a concerted manner and in collaboration with business and civil society, NGOs, and trade unions It is in this spirit that in 2011 we supported the resolution of the Human Rights Council, which adopted the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the product of many years of consultation with all stakeholders (companies, NGOs, trade unions) and with the full support of the latter. It is also in this spirit that Belgium is committed in the government agreement to adopt a National Action Plan (NAP) implemented its Guiding Principles.
At the instigation of the institutions of the European Union, the Flemish, Walloon, and Brussels federal and regional governments have decided to develop a National Action Plan (NAP) implementing the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, unanimously adopted on 17 June 2011 by the United Nations Human Rights Council. This plan will also provide an opportunity to reaffirm Belgium’s support for a number of commitments made in other forums that overlap with the same principles, such as the Guidelines for Multinationals (revised in 2011) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) or a series of commitments made at the level of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
In addition, this plan contributes to Belgium’s efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular, Goal 8 “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” and Goal 12 “Establish Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns”.
Action Point 6
Belgian SDG Charter on the role of the private sector, civil society, and the public sector on international cooperation (Page 27)
Federal Government Action:
In 2016, Belgian development cooperation initiated the drafting and signing of a Belgian SDG Charter on the role of the private sector, civil society, and the public sector on international cooperation. The first step in the realization of this Charter was the organization of a round table at the beginning of February 2016, which brought together some 40 CEOs from companies active in developing countries to give them more information about the 2030 Agenda and the role that could be reserved for the Belgian public sector.
Pillar 1. State duty to respect human rights
Strand 1: Training in the Field of Business and Human Rights
Action Point 1.5 [page 32]
The Ministry of Social Development will:
Through the Division of Public-Private Cooperation, include the focus on business, human rights and sustainable development in training activities about Public Incentives to Benefit Social Development by means of:
- Workshop-seminars about Public Incentives to Benefit Social Development for Business Enterprises and public-private cooperation in accordance with the Guiding Principles and the 2030 Agenda, thus strengthening the State-Business nexus and promoting due diligence in human rights.
- Introduction of a module about the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and their connection with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” in a workshop-seminar organised by business senior and executive staff.
Action Point 1.7 [page 33]
The National Human Rights Institute will:
Train staff working in regions about business, human rights and sustainable development, in line with the 2030 Agenda.
Strand 4: Transparency and Participation
Action Point 4.2 [page 40]
The Public-Private Cooperation Division of the Ministry of Social Development will include questions about the Guiding Principles in the 2017 Study about Social Performance of Business Enterprises, as well as the result of these variables in the final performance report, which will include an analysis of the results and their relationship with the SDGs. Medium and large-size public and private business enterprises will participate in the study.
Strand 6: Strengthening Coherence between Public Policies
Action Point 6.1 [page 44]
Among the efforts being made to implement the 2030 Agenda, the Ministry of Social Development will stress the importance of Human Rights and their relationship with the business industry. For this, the Ministry will:
Disseminate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in, at least, two instances of participation and dialogue focused specifically on addressing the subject of rights in the social environment. Business enterprises, academic centres, the civil society, the State and autonomous bodies would participate in these activities.
Carry out, for the dissemination of the 2030 Agenda, participation and reflection actions with business enterprises.
Organise, during the diagnostic stage of the actions related with the 2030 Agenda, a first analysis workshop aimed at discussing proposals linked with the contribution of the private sector to achieve the SDGs, with the participation of private businesses, academic centres, the civil society, the State and autonomous bodies.
Action Point 6.3 [pages 45-46]
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will:
Generate an opportunity to discuss, at a national level, about the integration of the Agenda of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, as well as about the challenges of these Agendas about the contribution of business enterprises. Regarding this national commitment, the Ministry is committed to generate crossreferences about human rights and climate change in the reports prepared about these subjects submitted to international organisations.
Action Point 6.4
The Ministry of Economy will:
Incorporate the Action Plan in the working agenda of the Economic Board integrated by the National Council for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, by following up the indicators proposed in the Action Plan that relate with the design and execution of the said Agenda.
Prepare an annual report informing about the relationship between cooperatives and SDGs. This report will include a special chapter about human rights.
Strand 7: Strengthening of International Political Coherence
Action Point 7.2 [page 47]
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will:
Through the Directorate of Human Rights:
Submit a report with recommendations to the National Council for Sustainable Development about the link between the Guiding Principles and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Contribution by Other Actors [page 65]
- Global Compact Chile will organise a series of activities with technical support by the Directorate of Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international organisations.
This will have the purpose of building capabilities regarding the Guiding Principles and the Sustainable Development Goals in business enterprises that are members of Global Compact Chile, such as:
- Creation of a Working Group on Business and Human Right in Global Compact.
- Introduction workshop about their application, practice and connection with the SDGs.
- Four working sessions aimed at including the human rights focus and how it is applied by business enterprises about the SDGs.
- Collection and dissemination of tools for the adoption of due diligence by companies, in line with the SDGs, introducing material available of the Global Compact World Office.
IV. Implementation, Monitoring and Follow-up [page 68]
1. Progress achieved by the Action Plan will be also incorporated in reports about the 2030 Agenda in Chile, both regarding the global and regional mechanisms …
6. The Economic Working Group for implementing the 2030 Agenda will incorporate progress made by the Action Plan to the progress achieved in the SDGs 17 in compliance reports.
… the specific objectives that will develop the general objective mentioned above are the following:
- Contribute to the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
IV. POLICY DEFINITION
Through this Plan, the national Government urges all companies, regardless of their size, sector, location, ownership and structure, to comply with the highest international standards in the respect of human rights, such as the … 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, consistent with Colombian constitutional mandates.
Sustainable Development Goals
With a universal call to end poverty, protect the environment and ensure that all people enjoy peace, the 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. It is composed of 17 goals, the main elements of which are as follows:
- The people
- The planet
- Peace Partnerships
In response to the pandemic, the path towards achieving the 2030 agenda has lagged behind. In order to continue to make progress towards achieving the 2030 agenda, a resilient, inclusive and environmentally friendly economy is needed to meet the agenda and to have a more sustainable and equitable world.
Acknowledging the importance of promoting economic development that fundamentally integrates the SDGs, the national government, through Law 1955 of 2019, issued the National Development Plan (NDP) 2019-2022 “Pact for Colombia Pact for Equity” [“Pacto por Colombia Pacto por la Equidad”], establishing the need to develop the country’s productive potential, always under the obligation to respect human rights.
The NDP has three structural pacts among which is the Pact for Entrepreneurship, Formalisation and Productivity: A dynamic, inclusive and sustainable economy. Its objective is to retake the productive potential and support entrepreneurship projects in the country, while respecting the human rights of all people. It also seeks to ensure that companies generate sustainable projects with positive and long-term impacts in their operating contexts.
On the other hand, the Pact for Legality: Effective Security and Transparent Justice seeks to guarantee access to justice for all people in the event of a rights violation. This objective is fundamental in the framework of the National Action Plan (NAP), as it strengthens the Remediation pillar, which will be developed later, but which seeks to strengthen access to justice in business and human rights cases. The national government seeks to strengthen both the judicial system and all non-judicial mechanisms that ensure conflict resolution and guarantee reparations for all victims of human rights violations.
With regard to the Transversal Pacts set out in the NDP, it is important to highlight the Pact for Sustainability: Producing by conserving and conserving by producing, which aims to establish the importance of developing business activities within the framework of respect for the environment and corporate sustainability. This Pact seeks to promote integrated actions between the business sector, the territories, the public sector, including state-owned companies, international actors and civil society to adopt sustainable practices that take into account the climatic aspects and biodiversity of the Colombian territory.
Similarly, it is necessary to mention the evaluation of Colombia in the Third Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review on 10 May 2018, where the United Nations Human Rights Council requested the Colombian State to prioritise actions regarding the fulfilment of SDG 1 “End Poverty”, SDG 5 “Gender Equality”, SDG 8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth” and SDG 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”.
VIII. FUNDAMENTAL PILLARS
ii. Fundamental Pillar 2: The duty of business to respect human rights
Strand 3 [Eje nº 3]: Train public and private companies on the need to mitigate the consequences of possible human rights impacts due to their operations, products or services provided, with an emphasis on those located in the region
- The Presidential Advisory Office for Women’s Equity (CPEM) will implement an advocacy strategy for companies to promote actions to close gender gaps and empower women and girls from the logic of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Shared Value.
The Czech NAP does not make an explicit reference to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Annex 1: Overview of the implementation of the state duty to protect
GP10 State Duty to Protect [page 32]
States, when acting as members of multilateral institutions that deal with business related issues, should: Seek to ensure that those institutions neither restrain the ability of their member States to meet their duty to protect nor hinder business enterprises from respecting human rights..
Status in Denmark (initiatives implemented before the UN ratification of the Guiding Principles)
… The government supports that the post-2015 development agenda is firmly anchored in human rights and universally accepted values and principles, including those encapsulated in the Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Millennium Declaration…
The Finland NAP does not make an explicit reference to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Introduction [page 4]
… The United Nations Guiding Principles are a universal road-map supporting the creation of rules to make businesses accountable in the human rights field. Their unanimous adoption was a key step towards acting on the observation that, if human development is to be sustainable in a globalized world, both public and private actors must be responsible towards the society and planet they live and operate in. …
I- The State’s Obligation to Protect Human Rights
Introduction [page 12]
… In the diplomacy field, France appointed an ambassador for bioethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in 2008.
“With the challenges of sustainable development increasingly high on the international agenda, corporate social responsibility (CSR), defined as the ways in which businesses integrate Sustainable Development Goals into their operations by controlling their societal impacts and incorporating societal expectations, is currently being negotiated in a large number of forums.”…
The International Framework
1. The United Nations (UN) [page 13]
… During the World Summit on Sustainable Development on 25 September 2015, the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda, a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs apply to all UN Member States, including France. They are global goals that aim to end poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change. This programme builds on the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Businesses are strongly encouraged to take measures to help attain these 17 goals, and to include their results in management reports.
France also chairs the Group of Friends of Paragraph 47 of the Rio+20 Declaration. This group promotes sustainable development reporting to better ensure that economic actors respect social, environmental, good governance and human rights standards. This group successfully advocated for reporting to be reinforced and extended to all SDGs. …
Actions Underway [page 16]
- Working with the Group of Friends of Paragraph 47 of the Rio+20 Declaration, France supports the reinforcement of reporting requirements in the environmental, social and governance fields, especially with respect to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted on 25 September 2015.
The European Framework
8. Trade and Investment Agreements [pages 20-22]
… European trade agreements incorporate CSR and adherence to international conventions on labour and the environment. EU free trade agreements all include sustainable development chapters, which contain provisions on labour law and environmental protection. These chapters also refer to CSR. … Sustainable
development chapters in EU free trade agreements and investment agreements contain two further important provisions: one prevents parties to the agreement from lowering social and environmental standards to promote trade and attract investments; the other confirms States’ right to regulate in the social and environmental fields. …
… From the French perspective, addressing these issues in free trade agreements results in a number of weaknesses:
- Secondly, although trade agreements include social and environmental standards and human rights clauses taken from the main international texts on labour laws and the environment, international organizations (the UNDP, ILO, etc.) are not involved in negotiations, despite the fact they carefully monitor the implementation of these texts (through regular reports by State parties, etc.). Instead, in trade agreements, a committee meeting at least once per year is charged with monitoring the implementation of sustainable development chapters. Civil society (NGOs and nonprofit organizations) can also act as whistleblowers if these regulations are breached, although this power is not institutionalized. Discussions with civil society are generally formalized by way of an annual forum or consultative committee bringing together stakeholders from different backgrounds. …
… In 2013, France issued a number of proposals to improve the way in which social and environmental standards were addressed in European trade agreements. These proposals are still relevant. These proposals focus on five main areas:
- Improving the evaluation of sustainable development chapters through rigorous impact assessments. These impact assessments must provide a clear overview of social and environmental standards in countries negotiating agreements with the EU. France has completed a major revision of the European manual used to write these impact assessments. This could lead to progress in the field.
- Improving the enforcement of existing sustainable development chapters by reinforcing implementation mechanisms. In November 2015, the French Minister of State for Foreign Trade sent a letter to European Commissioner Cecilia Malström asking the European Commission to investigate ways of including these chapters in dispute settlement mechanisms in trade agreements.
- Increasing the involvement of businesses by including CSR requirements in sustainable development chapters in trade agreements. Currently, these chapters contain a short paragraph on CSR, but this should be reinforced by adding references to key international texts on the subject (particularly the OECD Guidelines).
Actions to be Implemented
- Ensure that sustainable development chapters in EU free trade agreements are binding and enforceable under these agreements’ dispute settlement mechanisms.
The National Framework
9. The Protection of Human Rights and the Environment: Constitutional Guarantees [page 22]
… The charter [Charter for the Environment of 2004] acknowledges a number of rights, including “the right to live in a balanced environment which shows due respect for health” (Article 1), the obligation for public policies 23 to “promote sustainable development” and “reconcile the protection and enhancement of the environment with economic development and social progress” (Article 6), the right to “have access to information pertaining to the environment” and to “participate in the public decision-taking process likely to affect the environment” (Article 7), as well as the principles of precaution and prevention in the environmental field. …
II. Businesses’ responsibility to respect human rights
Actions to be implemented [page 38]
- Help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
2. Training and Information for Businesses [page 39]
All staff members must be made aware of CSR. Because CSR involves protecting, developing and enhancing an organization’s human capital, it is dependent on training. Training is central to sustainable development, enabling people to adapt their skills to economic, professional and societal changes. Training efforts must also target appropriate populations. …
Footnote: See the report RSE et dialogue social (CSR and social dialogue) published by the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs/General Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development in July 2013.
Existing Tools and Responsible Practices [page 40]
- Some businesses include human rights modules in sustainable development training programmes for directors. Others offer specific training to purchasers, human resources staff, legal staff, etc.
5. Employee Representatives [page 43]
… In 2013, the CNCDH recommended “including stakeholders outside of the company in the term ‘interested parties’ used in Article L.238-1 of the Commercial Code so as to enable such persons to ask the judge hearing applications for interim relief to order the company to provide any information it might not have provided in its ‘sustainable development’ report.” …
There is no mention of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Business and Human Rights Chapter of the Georgian Human Rights NAP.
Objectives of the National Action Plan [page 4]
The Federal Government attaches great importance to worldwide protection and promotion of human rights. The European Commission, in its Communication of 2011 entitled “A renewed EU strategy 2011-14 for Corporate Social Responsibility”, called on all EU Member States to develop their own national action plans for the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles. The Federal Government, in the coalition agreement of 2013, committed itself to implementing the UN Guiding Principles in Germany. Through the present National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP), it wishes to contribute to improving the human rights situation worldwide and to giving globalisation a social dimension in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
1. The State Duty to Protect
1.1 Basic rules of economic policy
Development Policy [page 18]
German development policy is value-based and is guided by the principle of human rights, because every individual worldwide must have fair development opportunities. Respecting, protecting and guaranteeing human rights are binding requirements and form a key component of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which, in 2015, the international community resolved to implement. With its globally and universally applicable Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2030 Agenda serves as a compass and reference framework and has been in force since 1 January 2016. The 2030 Agenda underlines the aspiration of the Federal Government to combine economic development with sustainability, with the basic principles of social and green market economics and with decent working conditions. Through its development policy, Germany works proactively at all levels – globally, in partnership with other countries and nationally – to ensure that human rights are upheld by fostering the creation of requisite legal and institutional conditions, pertinent state regulation, and the monitoring of corporate activity. To this end, assistance is given to governments of developing countries as well as to international and multilateral organisations, for example, in aligning their economic and social policies more closely with human rights and sustainability standards.
International context and domestic consultative process
Other international initiatives [page 10]
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (“the 2030 agenda”) adopted at a special UN summit in September 2015 sets a global framework for action for poverty eradication and sustainable development and will determine priorities and help guide allocation of resources world-wide over the coming 15 years. The 2030 agenda is universal and all countries will need to implement it, both internally and in their external action. The 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets at the heart of the agenda provide an integrated framework to achieve sustainable development globally. The SDGs of most relevance to the issue of Business and Human Rights are:
SDG 1 end poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG 5 achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
SDG 8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
The Addis Ababa action agenda forms an integral part of the 2030 Agenda. Together with the means of implementation under each SDG and goal 17 (means of implementation and global Partnership), it sets out the full range of means of implementation – financial and non-financial, public and private, domestic and international, actions and enabling policies – to be mobilised in the context of the global Partnership to achieve the agenda. In March 2016, the Council of Europe3 adopted a Recommendation to assist member states in preventing and remedying human rights violations by business enterprises. The Recommendation elaborates on access to judicial remedy, drawing on Council of Europe expertise and legal standards and puts special emphasis on the additional protection needs of workers, children, Indigenous People and human rights defenders. It also recommends a review of implementation of the Recommendation by the member states within five years of its adoption, with the participation of relevant stakeholders.
Annex 1 – list of additional and ongoing actions to be carried out across government
EU and Multilateral Efforts [page 20]
4. Promote business and human rights issues in global policy processes within the framework of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, in particular through sustainable development goals 8, 1 and 5.
I. Statement of Commitment
To protect human rights, Italy undertakes to: …
- Coordinate the implementation of the present NAP with the 17 Goals of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and engage for a stronger national adherence to human rights and sustainable development in its three dimension – economic, social and environmental – in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (especially SDG number 5,8,10,16,17);
- Encourage companies, also in view of the updating of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, in line with the commitments undertaken with the Agenda 2030 and the role that the private sector will be called to play in its implementation, to voluntarily commit themselves at national, regional and international level to prevent and redress potential human rights adverse impacts; and to realize the goal of a decent work for all, as set out in SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth); and to enhance the use of indicators of quality, sustainable development, equality and gender.
III. Government Expectations Towards Business
The Italian Government recognises the importance of supporting voluntary approaches of human rights respect and promotion by business as fundamental ways towards the growing of new corporate cultures and strategies inspired by social values and sustainable principles. This is particularly true with reference to Agenda 2030 and to the role that business is called to play in the SDGs implementation …
- Ensuring the full implementation of Law 221/2015 on green economy, including in particular the elaboration of a ‘Green Act’, a reviewed ‘National Sustainable Development Strategy’, a ‘National Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production’ and the establishment of a ‘Committee on Natural Capital’ to promote environmental sustainability and foster investments in the green economy; these measures will be developed taking into due consideration the development of the relevant European Union frameworks such as the Climate-energy Package 2030 and the Circular Economy Package as well as according to Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement …
- Strengthen human rights protection and promotion of low-carbon, ecologically sound technologies through climate change international cooperation in line with the OECD Guidelines, the BHR Framework and the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development; …
Ensuring Policy Coherence
Italy considers it a priority to promote implementation of existing international tools on human rights in the business sector, also in line with the 2030 Agenda, within multilateral institutions and with regard to the negotiation of international treaties and agreements. States and relevant actors should adopt policies and mobilise resources to advance equitable, human rights-based and sustainable development. Italy acknowledges the link between human rights, sustainable development, and fair business competition and is aware that the lack of respect for human rights is a potential factor of distortion on international markets …
Chapter 1. Towards the Formulation of the National Action Plan (NAP) (Background and Working Process)
1. Introduction: Increasing International Attention to Business and Human Rights and the Need for NAPs
(4) Following their endorsement, the UNGPs have increasingly received support from the international community. In September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda) with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its core. With respect to private business activity, the 2030 Agenda articulated that the UN member states will “foster a dynamic and well-functioning business sector, while protecting labour rights and environmental and health standards in accordance with relevant international standards and agreements and other ongoing initiatives in this regard, such as the UNGPs and the labour standards of the International Labour Organization, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and key multilateral environmental agreements.” In 2020, the PRI published an investment action framework for institutional investors to achieve outcomes in line with the SDGs.
(9)(…) In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, OECD and ILO indicated that COVID-19 exposed vulnerabilities in company operations and supply chains regarding working conditions. Considering these global trends, the Government believes that it is more important than ever to steadily implement the UNGPs and the NAP to ensure responsible business activities with a view to promoting further efforts to realize the SDGs based on the principle of human security.
2. Positioning of the NAP: Links with International Documents, including the UNGPs and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The Government holds that the promotion and protection of human rights and the realization of the SDGs are interrelated and mutually reinforcing, as stated in Resolution 37/24 on the Promotion and protection of human rights and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the 37th session of the HRC in March 2018. The Government considers the NAP formulation to be one of the measures to achieve the SDGs, and clearly mentioned its intention to formulate the NAP in the SDGs Implementation Guiding Principles Revised Edition, which was adopted at the 8th session of the SDGs Promotion Headquarters held in December 2019.
3. Objectives to be Achieved through the Launch and Implementation of the NAP
(4) To contribute to achieving the SDGs As stated in Section 2 “Positioning of the NAP: Links with International Documents, including the UNGPs and the SDGs,” the achievement of the SDGs and the protection and promotion of human rights are interrelated and mutually reinforcing. In this connection, the Government aims to contribute to realizing a sustainable and inclusive society where “no one will be left behind” through the implementation of the NAP.
Chapter 2. Action Plan
2. Areas of the NAP
(1) Cross-cutting areas
C. Rights and Roles of Consumers
(Existing framework/Measures taken）
Goal 12 of the SDGs is to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.” Accordingly, the creation of sustainable economies and societies requires action by consumers alongside businesses and governments. The Government works on realizing the rights of consumers in accordance with the Basic Consumer Act (Act No. 78 of 1968) that sets forth the responsibilities of the government, local governments, and businesses for the protection and promotion of consumers’ interests. Ethical consumption is the concept of consuming in a way that is considerate of people, society, and the environment, while incorporating the perspectives of regional revitalization and employment. In raising awareness on ethical consumption, explanations on social problems such as child labour and environmental issues are provided at workshops for children and using educational tools (leaflets, posters, and video) to introduce people to a manner of consuming that could lead to the resolution of such problems.
|CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Overview [Page viii]
The second Medium Term Plan objectives were each mapped to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure that the global development framework and its implementation is directly linked to achieving both Vision 2030 and the SDGs.
CHAPTER TWO: SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS AND THEMATIC AREAS OF FOCUS [Page 5]
The NAP is aligned to Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for both vertical and horizontal policy coherence and integration. It links each of the identified themes and the cross cutting issues to the corresponding SDGs. The NAP does not create any new obligations but is an overarching coherent tool to guide all actors in respecting human rights as they play their expected role in the development of the country, including attainment of the SDGs.
2.3 Natural Resources [Page 7]
Kenya has a relatively progressive constitutional and statutory framework for the ownership, management and access to land and natural resources found within her boundaries. The Constitution provides that land, whether public, private or communal, shall be held, used and managed in a manner that is equitable, efficient, productive and sustainable.
The NAP consultations identified the following concerns related to land, natural resource development and business:
6. Lack of sustainable benefits for host communities from the exploitation of natural resources despite the constitutional imperative for equitable sharing of benefits.
2.4 Revenue Transparency [Page 9]
Tax revenue is the most important, reliable and sustainable means of resourcing initiatives that contribute to the realisation of human rights such as health and education. Businesses are significant contributors to tax revenue. […]
Tax justice and the regulation of financial behaviour of companies can no longer be treated in isolation from the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, outlined in the UNGPs and business commitments to support the SDGs. Indeed, the SDGs include specific targets on reducing illicit financial flows (IFFs), returning stolen assets, reduction of corruption, and strengthening domestic resource mobilisation.
2.5. Environmental Protection [Page 11]
Various SDGs targets relate to the environment and are underpinned by human rights4.
4 They include 1.5 (building the resilience of the poor and the vulnerable to reduce their exposure to climate change impacts); 6.3 (improving water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals); 7.2 (increasing use of renewable energy); 9.4 (adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes); 11.6 (reducing adverse environmental impact of cities, including by paying attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management); and 12.4 (adoption of environmentally sound management of chemicals and waste). Others include 12.6 (encourage companies ‘to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information in their reporting cycle’), 12.7 (promotion of public procurement practices that are sustainable), 13.1 (strengthening resilience to climate change) and 15.2 (promotion of the implementation of sustainable management of forests, including halting deforestation).
CHAPTER THREE: POLICY ACTIONS
3.2. Pillar 2: Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights
b) Human Rights Policy commitments [Page 19]
iv. Promote the use of human rights and sustainability as criteria for industry awards by businesses and business associations.
The Lithuanian NAP does not make an explicit reference to the Sustainable Development Goals.
‘The Mexico NAP does not explicitly address this issue in the context of Business and Human Rights’
The Dutch NAP does not make an explicit reference to the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Norwegian NAP does not make an explicit reference to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Pakistan’s NAP links every proposed action to the relevant SDG(s). However, it does not explicitly address this issue.
CHAPTER II: THE BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN PERU
For its part, the network of companies Asociación Perú 2021 aims to promote RBC using an approach that takes into account adverse impacts linked to both operations and business relationships (OECD, 2020b, p. 23). In addition, it awards the Distinctive Socially Responsible Company (DESR),17 which recognizes companies in Peru with best practices in sustainable development and social responsibility, in line with the SDGs. – page 33
Firstly, the Peruvian State has signed multiple international treaties on general human rights and specific rights of vulnerable groups, as well as on labor and environmental issues. It has also adhered to relevant international instruments such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN SDGs. – page 39
CHAPTER III: DIAGNOSIS AND BASELINE: ACTION AREAS
3.2. Conclusions of the specific issues
In general, the survey applied by OHCHR shows that the representatives of the NAP Multi-stakeholder Roundtable claim to have a medium level of knowledge about the business and human rights framework and RBC, and therefore consider it important to implement an adequate training strategy on the subject, in order to demystify preconceptions and further position the human rights approach in business management.21 Although there is familiarity with international instruments, as well as with the 2030 Agenda, the Guiding Principles, ILO studies on RBC in Peru, among others. – page 41
Transparency, integrity, and fight against corruption
2017-2020 NATIONAL ACTION PLAN
Pillar II: The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights
1. Implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2030 Agenda) [page 29]
The concept of responsible development as the basis for the Responsible Development Plan and the Strategy for Responsible Development is consistent with the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals adopted in conjunction with the 2030 Agenda in September 2015. The Agenda highlights key global challenges, such as widespread poverty; growing inequalities; unemployment, especially among young people; health threats; natural disasters; conflicts; violence; huge disparities of opportunity, living standards, access to open and responsible public institutions; and threats related to climate change. At the same time, the 2030 Agenda includes a framework development plan, indicating 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets to stimulate development in the most important areas for people and the planet. The fundamental message is the pursuit of development that will guarantee a dignified life for everyone. The premise is that achieving the SDGs requires consistent actions and progress in three areas of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. The 2030 Agenda recognises the responsibility of every country for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals at the national level, taking into account different national realities, capacities, and levels of development, as well as respecting national policies and priorities. The goals of the 2030 Agenda relate to all social, professional, organisational, business, scientific, local, regional, and national groups. The challenge is to ensure that every stakeholder has a proper role and an opportunity to be involved in the implementation process in a responsible manner. The process of changes in the economic sphere should be accompanied by active employment policies to facilitate a fair transition to creating decent and safe working conditions. The SDGs also have a clear business justification with real opportunities to take concrete action on both investments (including in important sectors, such as infrastructure, energy, and industrial production) and responsible business conduct, such as appropriate labour standards, respect for workers’ rights, efficient use of resources, as well as clean and environmentally friendly technologies and production processes. The key to success in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is their alignment with business strategies, through the promotion of a circular economy (environmentally friendly circulation of closed and sustainable value chains), promotion of integrated and long-term thinking, and stakeholder engagement. Attention should also be focused on the promotion of sustainable business models and the active involvement of SMEs that have limited business opportunities. The fulfilment of national priorities and strategic projects envisaged in the Strategy for Responsible Development will support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs.
2021-2024 NATIONAL ACTION PLAN
|2. Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy
Responsible business – promoting due diligence standards
The effectiveness of activities carried out so far in the form of cooperation within the Advisory Board for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility encourages further development of the initiative and dialogue with representatives of various institutions and sectors. Therefore, the activities of the Advisory Board for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility will be continued in the years to come. Within the framework of the Advisory Board’s work, plans involve a continuation of activities in the field of promoting standards related to respect for human rights in business activity of enterprises. A significant role in this respect will be played by the Working Group for Relations with Individuals Performing Work. The scope of tasks of the Working Group will be determined each time by the Advisory Board for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility within the framework of annual action plans. The plans of the Working Group include, among others, the following activities:
o promotion of the handbook entitled: “Forced labour. A Guidebook: how to recognise and combat it” consisting in a wide-ranging e-mailing of the handbook, mailing of the paper version and organisation of webinars on the tools presented in the handbook. Information on the tools developed in the handbook will also be provided during meetings and trainings addressed to entrepreneurs organised by the Advisory Board for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility, – page 10
The issue of due diligence in the field of human rights will also be of particular interest to the Advisory Board for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility in view of the legislative changes planned at the EU level as regards due diligence in the area of human rights and environmental issues, as well as in the field of non-financial reporting covering, among others, issues concerning the respect for human rights. Monitoring the directions of legislative changes in non-financial data reporting planned at the EU level, as well as work in areas related to non-financial reporting, constitutes one of the tasks of the Working Group on the Development of Non-financial Reporting established on 31 March 2021. – page 11
3. Ministry of Economic Development and Technology
Implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2030 Agenda)
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges for the global economy and hindered effective achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time, it has set excellent ground for change, moving away from ‘business as usual’ and adapting operating models, both in and outside business, to the new challenges. The pandemic crisis has also brought to light the fact that the full implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is crucial to give momentum to better recovery, transition towards a green and digital economy, strengthen its resilience and be well prepared for future shocks.
A dynamic shift towards sustainable development has been observed at many levels of action. The Sustainable Development Goals have been increasingly mainstreamed in international and European policies. They are becoming a reference point both for EU development strategies (e.g. the European Green Deal) and for individual countries. The response to the COVID-19 crisis (European Recovery Instrument) is also based on the concept of sustainable development, and so is the National Recovery Plan, which will provide an impetus for business and public administration to undertake reforms and investments boosting the potential for growth and economic and social resilience, while fostering ‘green’ and digital transformation. – page 12
(…)From the point of view of the Coordinator of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Poland – the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology – in the coming years the implementation of the idea of sustainable development will strongly rely on the practical application of the provisions included in the report ‘Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Poland’, adopted by the Council of Ministers in June 2018, i.e.: first of all, supporting education for sustainable development, ensuring consistency of development policy and effective monitoring of progress in achieving the goals. The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, in cooperation with the OECD and the EC, will implement a project consisting in the preparation and implementation of a programme to develop the competences of public administration in the area of sustainable development.
An effective response to a clearly emphasised direction of action at European and national level requires well-prepared human resources, able to combine competences, willing to cooperate and committed to change. Entrepreneurs facing unprecedented pandemic challenges need multidimensional assistance and systemic support in their transformation towards sustainable development, e.g. in terms of access to resources and knowledge on sustainable development – most SMEs are still not aware of the concept of sustainable development, lack adequate resources (human, capital) to build responsible business models.
From the point of view of the Coordinator of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Poland – the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology – in the coming years the implementation of the idea of sustainable development will strongly rely on the practical application of the provisions included in the report ‘Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Poland’, adopted by the Council of Ministers in June 2018, i.e.: first of all, supporting education for sustainable development, ensuring consistency of development policy and effective monitoring of progress in achieving the goals. The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, in cooperation with the OECD and the EC, will implement a project consisting in the preparation and implementation of a programme to develop the competences of public administration in the area of sustainable development.
Building partnerships and enhancing the dialogue with 2030 Agenda stakeholders, as well as striving to increase their real involvement in issues relevant for sustainable development – such as social responsibility, equality between women and men, ensuring decent work, sensitivity to climate change, sustainable consumption and production – will remain crucial. – page 13
The state’s expectations of business enterprises
The Government also supports voluntary measures to foster business culture and ethics based on the values of social responsibility and the principles of sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls on the business sector to voluntarily support sustainable development. (pg. 7)
Principle 1 – State’s duty to protect HR
In accordance with its international commitments and national legislation, Slovenia will strive for the effective implementation of policies and measures… promoting sustainable development. (pg. 9)
Principle 3d – Environment
In October 2015, the Slovenian Government adopted the Framework Programme for the Transition to a Green Economy, which sets out the groundwork for a faster and more focused transition to a green economy…including a flexible framework for upgrading and planning further activities in the dialogue with stakeholders. (pg. 20)
Principle 4 – Businesses receiving State support
These (OECD) recommendations are aimed at promoting policy coherence of OECD member countries for officially supported export credits relating to the environment, climate change, social and human rights, obligations to respect relevant international agreements and conventions and to contribute to sustainable development. (pg. 24)
The Slovene Export and Development Bank – SID Bank is based on the principle of balanced and sustainable development with respect to economic, environmental and social development. (pg. 24)
Principle 6 – Planned Measures
The Slovene export and development bank, SID Bank, will continue to observe the principles according to which it has operated, including the principle of balanced and sustainable development (economic, environmental and social development), and follow good practices in the implementation of these principles in comparable institutions in the EU. (pg. 28)
Principle 9 – Adequate Domestic Policy
The latest trade agreements contain sustainable development provisions, which require that the signatories respect workers’ rights by acceding to ILO conventions, to protect the environment. (pg. 30)
Principle 9 – Planned activities/orientations
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia will continue to raise the awareness of the Slovenian business community, underlining the need to operate in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, also by organising targeted workshops. (pg. 31)
Principle 10 – Basic Orientations
Slovenia strives for the promotion of sustainable development, corporate social responsibility and respect for human rights. Slovenia supports the EU approach to environmental and social issues, and will continue to promote the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as major drivers of sustainable development. (pg. 32)
The promotion of sustainable development, particularly conservation and protection of biodiversity, the fight against climate change and respect for human rights are fundamental elements of the European Investment Bank’s lending policy. (pg. 33)
As an EIB shareholder, Slovenia will continue to support the key elements of its lending policy, which are aimed at ensuring sustainable development, including respect for human rights. (pg. 33)
Annex I – Human Rights Due Diligence in Practice
By joining some of the Slovenian initiatives and by acquiring certificates, enterprises can fully or partially comply with requirements concerning human rights. Some of the relevant certificates are: Family-friendly company, Socially responsible company, EFQM excellence model, Golden Thread, Most respectable employer, HORUS – Slovenian award for social responsibility, Leader in social responsibility and sustainable development; alongside other means in support of this field. (pg. 47)
South Korea’s NAP makes no reference to sustainable development.
II. Antecedents and Context [page 8]
Within the framework of the United Nations, it is necessary to mention the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development approved by Resolution 70/1 of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 25, 2015. This Resolution, of universal nature, marks the objectives of social, economic, and environmental nature in order to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with its 169 associated targets by the year 2030. Specifically, its paragraph 67 includes an explicit mention, within the framework of the promotion of a dynamic and efficient business sector, to the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, a concept that is reinforced in the Resolution 70/224 of December 22, 2015 on global partnerships. On the other hand, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, approved by Resolution 69/313 of the UNGA on July 27, 2015, which is incorporated into the 2030 Agenda itself as means of implementation, also includes in its paragraph 37 mention of the Guiding Principles. The 2030 Agenda invites companies to align their corporate business strategy with the development goals to seek the added value these goals can bring in developing countries, therefore the SDGs are a perfect framework. Companies understand that, in parallel to obtaining benefits, they must respond to the demands of society and build trust as a development actor. Through the local networks of the Global Compact, a development agenda can be built in the business environment. From Spanish cooperation (SC), progress can be made in the mainstreaming of development objectives in business agendas to achieve impacts in sustainable development. On the other hand, the Madrid Declaration “The social economy, a business model for the future of Europe”, signed by representatives of 11 EU member States on May 23, 2017, reaffirms the commitment of the signatories to the SDGs.
The three pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights [page 6]
(…)The action plan is also an important part of the Government’s heightened ambitions for foreign trade, through the export strategy, CSR and other areas. It is an equally important part of the Government’s relaunch of its Policy for Global Development and its efforts to contribute to the new global sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Annex: Measures planned
The Government aims to raise its ambitions in foreign trade, including in CSR and implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. To achieve these aims, a number of concrete measures will be implemented by 2017.
The State as development partner [page 29]
The Government will integrate sustainability issues into trade policy and export promotion and in the context of the relaunch of the Policy for Global Development and its efforts to contribute to the new global sustainable development goals (SDGs).
1.5 Policy, strategy and action plan coherence
The NAP assists Switzerland in its efforts to achieve the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all; Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; and Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. The NAP also contributes to the broader efforts to implement the federal Sustainable Development Strategy 2030. The UN Guiding Principles provide the main framework for activities in the business and human rights sphere.
2 National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights 2020-23
2.1 Pillar 1: state duty to protect
2.1.5 Policy coherence
Guiding Principle 9
Measure 18: Consistency between trade agreements and protection of human rights
In the interests of policy coherence, Switzerland also advocates the inclusion of consistency provisions when negotiating investment protection agreements (IPAs). The federal government drafted provisions to achieve greater consistency between IPAs and sustainable development objectives (e.g. provisions setting out the right to regulate; references to human rights and corporate social responsibility in the recitals to IPAs). These provisions underline the importance of interpreting and applying these agreements in a manner that is consistent with other international commitments undertaken by Switzerland and its partner countries, including those on human rights protection.
2.2 Pillar 2: the corporate responsibility to respect human rights
2.2.2 Operational principles: human rights due diligence
Guiding Principles 16 to 21
Measure 27: Promote efforts to end all forms of child exploitation in supply chains
The federal government will establish partnerships with the private sector and civil society to advance Goal 8.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: end child labour in all its forms by 2025, eradicate forced labour, and end modern slavery and human trafficking by 2030. It will also evaluate its participation in Global Alliance 8.7, which aims to strengthen international cooperation, coordination and assistance through appropriate multi-stakeholder partnerships.
IV. The corporate responsibility to respect human rights
B. Actions taken
- State encouragement of respect by businesses for human rights (page 11)
‘The Taiwan government also provides resources and support, including the following: it uses the “Statute for Industrial Innovation” and other legislation to encourage and reward sustainable development; […]’
- Greater information transparency (page 13)
‘[…] in response to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our government has set up a number of corporate excellence awards to recognize strong performance in such areas as transparency and business ethics, gender equality, and talent development. The purpose is to get companies to strengthen disclosure of non-financial information and implement human rights policies.’
Appendix 1: Concrete actions taken by Taiwan to fulfil the state obligation to protect
- Promotion of corporate social responsibility (page 27)
‘…The MOEA’s Small and Medium Enterprise Administration has issued the “Principles for Registration of Social Innovation Organizations.” This document calls upon social innovation enterprises to disclose their organizational goals and social missions, and to state how they coincide with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and/or Taiwan’s efforts regarding social issues.’
Appendix 2: Concrete actions taken by Taiwan to ensure respect by businesses for human rights
- Governments can provide information and support to enterprises. The Taiwan government has implemented several regulations and measures to provide enterprises with guidance and support, including the following: (pages 31-32)
‘…Article 26 of the “Statute for Industrial Innovation” provides as follows: To encourage the sustainable development of industries, the central authorities in charge of relevant enterprises may provide enterprises with grants or guidance to promote the following matters: (a) Assisting enterprises in adapting to international regulations for environmental protection and health and safety. (b) Promoting the development and application of technology relating to greenhouse gas reduction and pollution prevention. (c) Encouraging enterprises to improve the efficiency of their energy and resource consumption and to adopt relevant technologies that may recycle/renew energy/resources and save energy and water. (d) Production of non-toxic, less-polluting products and other products that reduce the burden on the environment.
In order to spur companies to follow CSR principles, Article 28 of the “Statute for Industrial Innovation” provides that “to encourage enterprises to fulfil their social responsibility, the central authorities in charge of relevant enterprises shall assist enterprises to actively disclose the relevant environmental information regarding their production processes, products, services, and other aspects of sustainable development, and the enterprises with outstanding performance may be eligible to receive commendations or awards.”’
- In order to strengthen enterprises’ CSR implementation and enhance human rights awareness, the Taiwanese government and civil society have implemented a number of support measures, including the following: (pages 32-33)
‘[…] The Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy has established the “Taiwan Academy of Corporate Sustainability (TACS),” which works with universities, enterprises, NGOs, and government agencies to organize international seminars, workshops, forums, and other types of activities to promote the SDGs and sustainable development.’
The Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy has launched the Taiwan Sustainability Value Index (TWSVI). The TWSVI uses economic, environmental, social, disclosure, and sustainability evaluations to select company stocks that have both financial and long-term sustainability value.
The Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy cooperates with the government to develop renewable energy, strengthen the promotion of green finance and sustainable finance, and help enterprises to comply with the “Principles for Responsible Banking” and the recommendations of the “Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.”
The Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy has established the “Taiwan Academy of Corporate Sustainability (TACS),” which works with universities, enterprises, NGOs, and government agencies to organize international seminars, workshops, forums, and other types of activities to promote the SDGs and sustainable development.
In addition, in order to promote the development of a sustainable investment environment, TWSE subsidiary Taiwan Index Plus Corporation and FTSE Russell jointly released the “FTSE4Good TIP Taiwan ESG Index,” the first ESG index that fully integrates environmental, social, corporate governance, and financial indicators in Taiwan.
The Taipei Exchange and the Taiwan Index Plus Corporation have joined forces with the Taiwan Business Council for Sustainable Development to collaborate in developing the TIP Taiwan TPEx CSR Index, which selects component stocks on the basis of whether the issuing companies satisfy certain CSR performance criteria. The Index thus encourages companies to take their CSR obligations seriously and to fulfill them. We also hope to see companies issue ETFs, ETNs, index warrants, index funds, and other index products that would provide investors new channels via which to take part in socially responsible investing.’
2. Conceptual framework, drafting process and the key substance and content of the First National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights
2.3 Key content and substance of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights
2.3.1 Key content
Key content of NAP which consists of 1) Action Plan on Labour; 2) Action Plan on the Community, Land, Natural Resources and the Environment; 3) Action Plan on Human Rights Defenders; and 4) Action Plan on Cross Border Investments and Multinational Enterprises.
The content of each of the action plans consists of the overall situation, challenges, actions to be implemented, responsible agencies, time-frame, indicators, and linkages between the implementation plan and national strategy, the SDGs, and the UNGPs.
3. The core content of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights
3.2 Action plan for community, land, natural resources and the environment
3.2.3 Action Plan (2019–2022)
Pillar 1: State duties in protecting (Protect)
|Responsible agencies||Time-frame (2019–2022)||Indicators (wide frame)||Compliance with National Strategy/ SDGs/UNGPs|
|3.||Environmental and Health Impact Assessment (EIA/ EHIA)||Prepare Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA), a systematic analysis process to assess the potential environmental impact arising from implementing and policy, plan and programme (PPP) levels to achieve the goal on sustainable environment in compliance with the SDGs||– Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council||2019–2022||– Guidelines for Strategic Environment Assessment
Promotion and dissemination of evaluation guidelines of Strategic Environment Assessment for agencies to follow
|– National Strategy for Eco-Friendly Development and Growth
– National Strategy for Public Sector Rebalancing and Development
– SDG 11, 13, 14 and 15
– UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10
*Note: every activity in the NAP is connected with one or more SDGs
CHAPTER THREE: SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS
3.8 Women, Vulnerable and Marginalized Groups
Human rights instruments set out obligations and commitments to ensure equality and non-discrimination. These are highlighted in various human rights instruments at international, regional and national levels including the following: SDG 5 gender equality and women empowerment , 8 on decent employment and 10 on reducing inequalities within and among countries, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Convention on Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), the Constitution of Uganda under Chapter Four on the Protection and Promotion of Fundamental and Other Human Rights and Freedoms, the National Equal Opportunities Policy (2006), the National Gender Policy (2007), the Persons with Disability Act (2020) and the National Policy on Disability (2006).
The UK 2013 NAP does not make an explicit reference to Sustainable Development Goals.
The UK 2016 Updated NAP states:
Introduction [page 2]
3. Since the publication of the UNGPs, in 2011, and the UK’s National Action Plan in 2013, there have been a number of developments at the international level. In particular:
The Global Goals for Sustainable Development, agreed by world leaders and launched at the UN in September 2015, contained commitments to:
– take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking (SDG 8.7)
– protect labour rights, promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment (SDG 8.8)
The National Action Plan
Collaborating with Stakeholders
Outcome 2.1: Enhance the value of Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives on RBC
Sustainable Development Goals [page 16]: The 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or Global Goals) establish an ambitious framework to make progress on many of the fundamental social, economic, and environmental challenges facing the world over the next 15 years. The U.S. government encourages uptake and implementation of the SDGs and intends to facilitate dialogue among key actors to discuss best practices, public-private partnership opportunities, lessons learned, and action necessary to ensure the SDGs’ success. As part of this initiative, DOL has been actively engaged in the ILO-led Alliance 8.7, a coalition of business and other stakeholders committed to increasing action to achieve SDG Target 8.7 on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking. Implementing department or agency: State, Treasury, USAID, DOL