In June 2011, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by the UN Special Representative on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations, Professor John Ruggie. The Guiding Principles include the "Protect, Respect and Remedy" framework, which clearly distinguishes between the responsibilities of different actors in the field of business and human rights:
The UN Guiding Principles provide a sound basis for the promotion of human rights worldwide. To advance the implementation of the Guiding Principles, a five-member expert group was established in November 2011, the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. During their mandate, the experts are to raise awareness of the UN Guiding Principles through country visits, the development of information materials and intensive dialogue with all stakeholders, while promoting their implementation through capacity-building measures. To date, 23 countries have adopted national action plans to implement the UN Guiding Principles. In Germany, the Federal Government has implemented the UN Guiding Principles through the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP) and has initiated further measures in cooperation with stakeholders, such as the creation of industry alliances.