In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). These principles have been recognized as a global standard to prevent and address business related human rights abuses. Now, Member States are working to develop their National Action Plans (NAPs), which will promote the implementation of the UNGPs within their national contexts. The production of NAPs provides an opportunity to further the dialogue on human rights and development, to increase accountability of governments in the protection of human rights, and to ensure access to remedy for business-related human rights abuses, consistent with the UNGPs and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
In September 2014, President Obama announced that the United States Government would develop a NAP on Responsible Business Conduct. The US Government has since organized a series of stakeholder consultations to receive recommendations, in which CIEL has participated. In April 2015, CIEL, Accountability Counsel, and Friends of the Earth (US) filed a submission, focusing on project-level grievance mechanisms. We provided recommendations for how the US Government can ensure access to remedy for harms suffered by communities affected by development projects, including through its role in the World Bank and other international financial institutions that finance development. Read our first submission here.
In July/August 2015, CIEL, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, and Accountability Counsel provided a submission focused on the role of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to highlight some of the gaps in USAID’s implementation of the Guiding Principles and the OECD Guidelines and to offer recommendations for improvement. As one of the US government’s primary vehicles for delivering bilateral development assistance and disaster relief, USAID has a tremendous impact on the human rights of some of the most vulnerable communities on the planet. Read our second submission here.