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The potential of National Action Plans to implement human rights norms: an early assessment with respect to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

de Felice, Damiano and Graf, Andreas (2015) The potential of National Action Plans to implement human rights norms: an early assessment with respect to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 7 (1). pp. 40-71. ISSN 1757-9619

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Identification Number: 10.1093/jhuman/huu023

Abstract

Building on the academic literature on state compliance with international norms, and focusing specifically on the business and human rights agenda, this article offers the first systematic analysis of the numerous roles that National Action Plans (NAPs) can play in fostering deep implementation of human rights norms. The article argues that this potential can be fully exploited only if the production of NAPs follows eight criteria. The process of NAP development should: (1) be based on a comprehensive baseline study/gap analysis; (2) include all relevant state agencies; (3) allow effective multi-stakeholder participation; and (4) continuously monitor implementation. In terms of content, NAPs should: (5) express firm commitment to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; (6) conform as much as possible to the structure and substance of this UN document; (7) offer unambiguous commitments and clear deadlines for future action; and (8) envisage capacity-building initiatives. While numerous governments have embarked on the process of developing NAPs to implement the UN Guiding Principles, drafting processes differ with respect to the form of cooperation among state administrations, the level of consultation with external stakeholders and the extent of engagement with independent experts. The content varies as well: some NAPs are forward-looking, others are mainly descriptive; some offer clear commitments and deadlines, others include nothing but vague aspirations. The article assesses the most advanced NAPs on the basis of the above-mentioned eight criteria.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://jhrp.oxfordjournals.org/
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JX International law
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2015 12:52
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2019 02:38
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/60625

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