Business and human rights - monitoring the implementation of corporate due diligence in respecting human rights

KANCHANABURI, THAILAND - JULY 22, 2017: Burmese Female Migrant Workers Sewing or Stitching Leather Shoes in footwear production line of factory in Sankhlaburi, Kanchanaburi, Thai-Burma border province

Worldwide protection and promotion of human rights are of great significance to the Federal Government of Germany. The responsible shaping of a sustainable and successful global economy is of also particular importance. Few countries have such strong international economic ties as the Federal Republic of Germany. The increasing interconnectedness of German companies in global supply and value chains offers both opportunities and challenges: German companies worldwide can make an important contribution to job creation and to raising environmental and social standards. However, risks can also arise from lack of transparency and the often-inadequate enforcement of human rights, labour, social and environmental standards along the supply and value chains of globally operating companies. This applies in particular to production in developing and emerging countries, but also in Europa and Germany.

On 21 December 2016, the Federal Cabinet adopted the "National Action Plan Implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights 2016-2020" (NAP). The NAP provided for a monitoring procedure for the implementation of specified measures for companies. The Federal Foreign Office has commissioned Ernst & Young GmbH accounting firm (EY) in cooperation with a consortium consisting of adelphi, Systain Consulting, and focusright to carry out this monitoring.

A survey was conducted to review the state of implementation of the five elements of human rights corporate due diligence described in Chapter III of the NAP. Based on this monitoring, the consortium reviews, according to scientific standards, whether at least 50 percent of all companies based in Germany with over 500 employees subject to social security contributions, met the expectations of the German government with regard to corporate due diligence in 2020.

adelphi offered extensive expertise in the implementation of research and consulting projects for sustainable management with a special focus on sustainable supply chains. The project team also contributed its experience in preparing the results for the specific target group so that they can be used for the political (learning) process.