National Action Plans: Current Status and Future Prospects for a New Business and Human Rights Governance Tool
Business and Human Rights Journal 1(1) 2015, pp.117-126.
16 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2015 Last revised: 8 Jul 2016
Date Written: August 7, 2015
National Action Plans (NAPs) on business and human rights are a burgeoning phenomenon. This short article identifies NAPs as an important new business and human rights governance tool and presents a framework for evaluating their contribution to the advancement of respect for human rights in the business context. Section II of this article summarises NAPs developments to date and presents the pros and cons of NAPs. Section III evaluates published and in process NAPs according to six criteria: scope, content and priorities; baseline assessments; consulting stakeholders; transparency; accountability and resources. Concluding, Section IV highlights three elements that will be critical to the credibility of NAPs and their efficacy in promoting effective respect for human rights in the business context in the future. The article draws on the authors' development of influential guidance on NAPs published in 2014 and their experiences of supporting NAPs processes in a range of countries.
Keywords: Human rights, governance, national action plans, corporate responsibility to respect human rights, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, corporate accountability, remedy, multi-stakeholder, EU
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