View the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights
Main Coordinating Authority
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Action Plan builds on, and is a direct follow up to, a series of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) White Papers, in particular the 2014-15 report to the Storting (Norwegian Legislature) "Opportunities for All: Human Rights in Norway’s Foreign Policy and Development Cooperation".
The drafting process was coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, supported by the interministerial group. The drafting process involved a series of consultations with business, civil society and indigenous peoples’ representatives; and involving KOMpakt - the Government consultative body on matters relating to CSR which represents different groups of stakeholders: governmental authorities, the private sector, trade unions, civil society and academia.
National Baseline Assessment
A mapping and gap analysis was commissioned from the Fafo Research Foundation in 2013 to form the basis of the NAP. The study consists of two parts: a survey of Norwegian public bodies and their relevance to business and human rights, and the identification of the gaps between Norwegian state practice and the standards set out in the UN Guiding Principles. The study also attempted to identify some of the risks of human rights violations by business within certain areas of ministerial responsibility.
Main Priorities / Focus areas in the Action Plan
The plan sets out the Government expectation of businesses enterprises and a provides an overview of developments in the global framework of Corporate Social Responsibility, of which the UNGPs are seen as a constituent part.
It then follows the structure of the UNGPs, providing an overview of each principle. Within Pillars I and III the plan addresses the specific principles, explaining the domestic context and existing legislation or initiatives, while also proposing future measures.
The section on Pillar II contains guidance for business entities and the Government's expectations of them under this Pillar.
Proposed measures include:
- Ensure greater policy coherence and expertise on corporate social responsibility in the public administration.
- Consider pooling the resources of several actors that currently advise companies on corporate social responsibility by establishing a single advisory centre.
- Strengthen guidance and dialogue with companies on human rights, business ethics, security and corruption in especially demanding markets.
- Include respect for internationally recognised human rights in public contracts.
- Seek to ensure that provisions on respect for human rights, including on safeguarding labour rights and working conditions, are included in bilateral free trade agreements and investment treaties.
- Give priority to framework conditions, institution building and the development of adequate legislation to ensure that human rights are respected in priority countries receiving Norwegian development aid.
- Seek to ensure, through international cooperation, that victims of grave and systematic human rights violations have access to effective appeals procedures.
- Support the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in its work to strengthen national legal systems.
Review and Monitoring
Each relevant Ministry is responsible for assessing the need for legislative amendments and other measures within its area of expertise.
An interministerial working group headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will ensure that Norway’s CSR-related positions in international forums are coherent, and that the relevant ministries are notified of international decisions in this field.
KOMpakt will continue to serve as a forum for regular dialogue at top level between the authorities, the private sector, trade unions, academics and civil society.