The Biden Administration Needs a Bold Human Rights Plan For Business
— June 23, 2021
By Michael Posner
Since 2014, 29 countries, most from Europe and North America, have produced NAPs. Another 14, mostly in Latin America, Africa, and Asia have agreed to do the same. The impetus for these plans was the adoption a decade ago of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The UNGPs asserted that governments and companies should pay greater attention to how business conduct affects human rights. The national action plans were meant to encourage governments to set new standards, for example, relating to their own procurement of goods and services, and to set measures and timelines for government and others to gauge progress.
Unfortunately, governments, including in the U.S., haven’t taken the NAPs seriously. They have filled their plans with summaries of what they already are doing, declining to make specific commitments of future action or to include concrete metrics to measure progress. All too often, commerce ministries, with business interests uppermost in mind, have wrestled successfully with more rights-oriented voices in foreign ministries to block a more ambitious approach.
Read the full Forbes article.
Michael Posner is a Professor of Business and Society and Director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.