Benefits of a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights
- The NAP will provide the overall strategy and concrete commitments by the Government for addressing adverse business-related human rights impacts in line with the UNGPs. It will be oriented towards addressing actual and potential business and human rights challenges.
- Regardless of size or operational context, all companies can benefit from tools and guidance to help them with their implementation efforts. The process and development of a National Action Plan will bring more clarity by highlighting the relevance of human rights for business, demonstrating the business case for human rights, emphasizing practical solutions and pointing to useful tools and guidance materials.
- It will facilitate the identification of approaches that have been recognized by a number of businesses and stakeholders as being good for business and good for human rights. Embracing the action plan is in keeping with the goal of showing that advancing human rights is not just about managing risks and meeting standards and expectations but also about realizing new opportunities for sustainable growth.
- Adopting an action plan for business and human rights will facilitate any organisation to carry out its human rights due diligence towards meeting its responsibility to respect human rights. It sends a clear signal to internal and external stakeholders that the company is committed to embedding human rights into its operational policies and procedures and leads to an understanding of the human rights impacts of the business, both positive and negative.
- It also signals a commitment to take respect for human rights seriously enough to allocate management time and resources to developing and implementing an action plan especially where it involves stakeholders’ consultations.
- Respecting human rights is a responsibility that requires action on the part of businesses. An organisation needs to be able to demonstrate that it is indeed respecting human rights in practice. That, in turn, requires it to have certain policies and processes in place. The Guiding Principles define these as: a statement of policy commitment, human rights due diligence process and processes to enable remediation.
- Facilitating an organisation to comply with due diligence standards and other practices based on a more inclusive range of human rights norms will significantly reduce or even potentially eliminate exposure to human rights liability now and in the future. Therefore having a National action plan will minimise the uncertainty and inconsistency associated with making corporate human rights responsibilities contingent upon the whim of an organization and lends itself to a more reliable processes and outcomes.
- The NAP will be used to guide in the prioritising of impacts which are most severe in terms of their scale, scope, and irremediable character and to develop strategies to prevent, mitigate and remedy current and potential adverse impacts on human rights. It will It will also be used to define the strategies and concrete measures which are most effective in addressing adverse corporate human rights impacts.
- The NAP will also help the Government to take into account differential impacts on vulnerable groups and make sure the measures defined in the NAP allow for the effective prevention, mitigation and remediation of such impacts.