Claudia Saller (ECCJ), Julia Otten & Johanna Kusch on why the German government should give the mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence agenda a real push, both at home and in Brussels.
As development and human rights organisations we participated intensively in the German government’s consultation process for developing the National Action Plan (NAP) for implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: in the government’s steering committee, in the altogether twelve thematic hearings and in the three plenary conferences. In this context, we expected the government to move away from the failed model of purely voluntary self-commitment and legally require German companies to discharge their human rights responsibilities in their activities and business relationships abroad.
Over the last few years NGOs have criticized numerous human rights violations in which German corporations were directly or indirectly involved. Blatant violations of human rights are occurring for instance in agriculture, in manufacturing and in the extractive industries. Germanwatch and MISEREOR have documented these cases in a report.
Within the framework of the CorA-Netzwerk für Unternehmensverantwortung (CorA Network for Corporate Accountability) and the Forum Menschenrechte (German Human Rights Forum) Germanwatch together with 28 organisations drafted their expectations from the German Government and the German Bundestag to elaborate an Action Plan for Business and Human Rights.