Promoting and implementing human rights worldwide
Even more than 60 years after the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights are still disregarded and violated to varying degrees in many states around the world. This is unacceptable. Human rights must be promoted and implemented worldwide.
German companies enjoy a very good reputation in the course of their foreign trade activities
UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
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:
- Protect: States have a duty to protect people within its borders from human rights abuses.
- Respect: Companies should respect human rights and establish the necessary management structures ("human rights due diligence").
- Remedy: Legal and non-legal complaint mechanisms should be developed and strengthened.
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.