National Plan on Business and Human Rights
Public Consultation for new National Plan on Business and Human Rights
This second National Plan is being jointly prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The new National Plan is intended to build on the achievements of the first National Plan, while reflecting new developments in the international understanding of business and human rights, including new EU instruments.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment solicited written input from all interested stakeholders to inform the development of a second National Plan on Business and Human Rights. A public consultation period was launched on 27th July 2023, and closed on 8th September 2023.
The following submissions were received as part of the public consultation.
- Business in the Community Ireland
- Chambers Ireland
- Queen’s University Belfast
- UCC Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights
- Frontline Defenders
- United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Mary Lawlor
- Mental Health Reform
- Reform Stamp 3
- Irish Coalition on Business and Human Rights
- Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Please find a consultation paper on the new National Plan, which summarises the outcomes of Ireland’s first plan and presents guiding questions for written submissions.
Guidance for business enterprises on Business and Human Rights
In April 2021 the Minister for Foreign Affairs launched new guidance on business and human rights for business enterprises in Ireland. This guidance was developed by the Implementation Group for the National Plan on Business and Human Rights under the inaugural National Plan. Click here to access the guidance and here to hear the Minister’s speech at the launch and to watch the webinar that followed.
Further information on the National Plan, the Implementation Group and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights is available in the following sections.
In addition, in July 2021, the European Commission published guidance for EU companies on how to implement effective human rights due diligence practices to address the risk of forced labour in their supply chains.
The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs)
In 2011, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These Principles, 31 in all, address the risks of adverse impacts on human rights from business activities, and centre on the state duty to protect, the corporate responsibility to respect and access to remedy. Click here to read the UNGPs.
The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights was established by the Human Rights Council in 2011. Its mandate includes a responsibility to promote the effective and comprehensive dissemination and implementation of the UNGPs. To read more about the UN Working Group’s mandate and work, click here.
The National Plan on Business and Human Rights (2017-2020)
The National Plan on Business and Human Rights (2017-2020) is a whole of government initiative, which seeks to give effect to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Ireland. The National Plan – and information about the consultative process that informed its development – is available here.
The Implementation Group for the National Plan on Business and Human Rights
The Business and Human Rights Implementation Group was established to oversee the implementation of the National Plan on Business and Human Rights. The Implementation Group is independently chaired and comprises representatives from civil society, the business community and Government Departments. Click here to learn more about the Implementation Group.