UK National Action Plan implementing UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

UK National Action Plan implementing UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

On 4 Sep 2013, the UK Govt. released its National Action Plan to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights.

The action plan "embodies [the UK's] commitment to protect human rights by helping UK companies understand and manage human rights. It sends a clear message of our expectation about business behaviour, both in the UK and overseas."

In their foreword to the action plan, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs William Hague and Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable "call on businesses and civil society to help us give effect to this action plan. And...on our international partners to give effect in their own countries to the Guiding Principles, in the pursuit of improved human rights and sustainable business environments the world over."

See here for Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs William Hague's statement to Parliament presenting the action plan.


Official action plan

The action plan is available in the following languages and is also accessible on our UN Guiding Principles Portal's respective language sections:

Arabic: خطة عمل الحكومة البريطانية حول تطبيق المبادئ التوجيهية للأمم المتحدة بشأن الأعمال التجارية وحقوق الإنسان 

Chinese: 良好的企业 - 落实《联合国商业与人权指导原则》

English: "Good Business - Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights"

French: "Bonnes pratiques - Mise en oeuvre des Principes directeurs des Nations Unies relatifs aux entreprises et aux droits de l'homme"

Portuguese: "Boa Conduta de Negócios - Implementação dos Princípios Orientadores das Nações Unidas sobre Empresas e Direitos Humanos"

Russian: "Надлежащее ведение дел - Реализация Руководящих принципов ООН по вопросам бизнеса и прав человека"

Spanish: "Buenas prácticas comerciales - Aplicación de los Principios Rectores de la Organización de Naciones Unidas sobre las empresas y los derechos humanos"


Launch event

Foreign Secretary William Hague: "Speech: UK action plan on business and human rights", 4 Sep 2013

Professor John Ruggie, former UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights: "Remarks at UK Government Launch: Action Plan for Implementing the UN Guiding Principles", 4 Sep 2013

[Photo] Foreign Secretary William Hague and Business Secretary Vince Cable at the launch of the action plan on business and human rights, London, 4 Sep 2013


Commentary & analysis

UK shows welcome leadership on human rights defenders and corporate accountability, International Service for Human Rights, 4 Sep 2013

"UK Government prepares to launch National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights – Now the real work begins"
, John Morrison,  Institute for Human Rights and Business, 2 Sep 2013

"Three reasons why the UK National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights should prioritise gender", Alexa Roscoe, CARE International, 3 Sep 2013

"Action plan on human rights must go beyond business as usual", CORE Coalition & Trades Union Congress, 4 Sep 2013

"Remarks at UK Government Launch: Action Plan for Implementing the UN Guiding Principles", Professor John Ruggie, former UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, 4 Sep 2013

"Initial Thoughts on the UK National Action Plan Implementing UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights", Nadia Bernaz (Middlesex University), Rights as Usual, 4 Sep 2013

"UK’s Action Plan on Business and Human Rights – a break with the past?", Peter Frankental, Amnesty International UK, 4 Sep 2013

"UK shows welcome leadership on human rights defenders and corporate accountability", Intl. Service for Human Rights, 4 Sep 2013

"Expecting business to respect human rights without incentives or Sanctions", Robert McCorquodale, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, on 1 Crown Office Row blog

"UK guidance for business on human rights issues needs some legal teeth", Gerry Boyle, Care International UK, on Guardian Sustainable Business blog, 4 Sep 2013

"The UK on human rights in business: Devil in the lack of detail?", Sam Gurney, Trades Union Congress, on ToUChstone blog

"The UK Action Plan on Business and Human Rights will bring little comfort to victims of corporate abuse", Rights & Accountability in Development, 4 Sep 2013

"A first step towards good business?", Peter McAllister, Ethical Trading Initiative, 5 Sep 2013

"Does the UK’s action plan on business and human rights deliver for children?", Samah Abbasi, UNICEF, 6 Sep 2013

"Human rights interest: The UK is leading the way on business and human rights, but others will be following soon",  Louise Moore, Herbert Smith Freehills, on Lawyer (UK), 9 Sep 2013

"Action plan shows human rights breaches are still a serious legal risk for UK companies", Jehan-Philippe Wood & Stuart Neely, Norton Rose Fulbright, 27 Sep 2013


Media coverage

"Call to businesses on human rights", Express & Star (UK), 5 Sep 2013

"UK launches action plan on business, human rights", Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh), 6 Sep 2013

"Government offers guidance on human rights in supply chains", Will Green, Supply Management (UK), 6 Sep 2013