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

See all articles by Claire Methven O'Brien

Claire Methven O'Brien

Danish Institute for Human Rights, Human Rights and Development Department; University of St. Andrews School of Management

Amol Mehra

International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)

Sara Blackwell

International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)

Cathrine Hansen

Danish Institute for Human Rights

Date Written: August 7, 2015

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Methven O'Brien, Claire and Mehra, Amol and Blackwell, Sara and Hansen, Cathrine, National Action Plans: Current Status and Future Prospects for a New Business and Human Rights Governance Tool (August 7, 2015). Business and Human Rights Journal 1(1) 2015, pp.117-126.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2627568 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2627568

Claire Methven O'Brien (Contact Author)

Danish Institute for Human Rights, Human Rights and Development Department ( email )

Wilders Plads 8K
Copenhagen K, 1403
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://www.humanrights.dk/staff/claire-methven-obrien

University of St. Andrews School of Management ( email )

The Gateway
St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/management/

Amol Mehra

International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) ( email )

1612 K Street NW
Suite 515
Washington, DC DC 20006
United States

Sara Blackwell

International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) ( email )

1612 K Street NW
Suite 515
Washington, DC DC 20006
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.icar.ngo

Cathrine Hansen

Danish Institute for Human Rights ( email )

Wilders Plads 8K
Copenhagen K, 1403
Denmark

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