The international community adopted the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in June 2011, pledging to address the adverse impacts of business activities. Five years later, progress has been minimal, writes Jerome Chaplier.
The Swiss Responsible Business Initiative will be presented to the Swiss authorities today. The 80 civil society organizations supporting the initiative share one common goal: Swiss quality must incorporate the protection of human rights and the environment.
Over 5 years after the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Switzerland finally published its implementation strategy. Although the National Action Plan (NAP) recognizes the challenges at hand, only six new measures are foreseen.
The Legal Affairs Committee (“the Committee”) of the Swiss Parliament’s Council of States has acknowledges that human rights violations perpetrated by Swiss based multinational companies are of great concern.
In the frame of the revision of the Swiss Corporation Law, the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council proposes legal measures against human rights violations and non-compliance with international environmental standards by corporations based in Switzerland.
Swiss companies that threaten human rights and the environment through their economic activities abroad must take responsibility. This is the message with which a broad coalition launches the Responsible Business Initiative today in Bern.
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