Business and Human Rights: Switzerland’s new yet incomplete action plan


On January 16th 2020, Switzerland's National Action Plan (NAP) 2020-2023 on the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights was adopted. A detailed analysis of this NAP can be found here.

The document «United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Switzerland’s National Action Plan (NAP) 2020-2023 » was published by the Swiss Federal Council on 16 January 2020. It follows an initial action plan for the 2016-2019 period which was drafted and published by the Federal Council in December 2016, in response to a parliamentary request.

The Federal Council based its document on a study commissionned by the Federal administration « Bestandaufnahme über die Umsetzung der UNO-Leitprinzipiem für Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte durch den Bund und durch Schweizer Unternehmenn ». This study sets out the current status and contains a series of recommendations, only part of which have been included in the NAP. Civil society actors and private sector actors were invited to provide inputs and submit comments on a first draft in August 2019.

Although the 2020-2023 NAP contains some improvements, it does not constitute in the eyes of Swiss civil society organizations a solid framework for ensuring that Swiss companies respect human rights in their activities, and those of their business partners abroad.

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