Govt to formulate national action plan on business and human rights

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Published: February 19, 2020 5:43 PM

It would be based on three principles -- "State Duty to Protect", "Corporate Responsibility to Respect" and "Access to Remedy".

According to the notice, a country's plan is expected to demonstrate how these principles are already being implemented, what the gaps are, and how they should be addressed. (Representative image)According to the notice, a country’s plan is expected to demonstrate how these principles are already being implemented, what the gaps are, and how they should be addressed. (Representative image)

The Corporate Affairs Ministry is undertaking “rigorous consultations” with stakeholders for formulating a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, according to a public notice. The ministry, which implements the companies law, is steering the process of formulating the plan.

“The obligation to draft a NAP (National Action Plan) stems from India’s endorsement of the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) on Business and Human Rights adopted in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC),” as per the notice.

It would be based on three principles — “State Duty to Protect”, “Corporate Responsibility to Respect” and “Access to Remedy”.

According to the notice, a country’s plan is expected to demonstrate how these principles are already being implemented, what the gaps are, and how they should be addressed.

The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (UNWG) has prepared a guidance note on NAP that mentions about four criteria, including that the plan should be based on UNGP as well as developed in an inclusive and transparent manner.

At present, about 45 countries, including India, are either drafting or have finalised their NAPs, the notice said. “The ministry is currently undertaking rigorous consultations with all stakeholders to finalise the document at the earliest,” it said. In this regard, the ministry has sought comments on developing the NAP, and submission deadline is March 10.

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