Business and Human Rights
Promoting Responsible Business Conduct in target countries where Japanese companies operate, with a particular focus on promoting human rights due diligence in global supply chains and leveraging the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for a just recovery: (B+HR)
Achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 2030 Agenda, meeting the targets set by the Paris Agreement, and ensuring a “just recovery” from Covid-19 that does not harm human rights will require concerted and urgent action from member states and businesses.
To further responsible business practices, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) require businesses to carry out Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD): to identify, prevent and mitigate adverse impacts on people and the environment, thereby helping them manage potential and actual risks.
This obligation has been made mandatory by law in leading economies, including Germany, France, Australia, and Norway, and looks set to be adopted by the EU. Therefore, Japanese and other businesses have a strong incentive to undertake HRDD; namely, should they fail to do so, they may be unable to access EU and other major markets while facing reputational and legal risk. Conversely, should they succeed, they (and their suppliers) can prompt countries where they operate to adopt laws leading to a “level playing field” that will reward responsible businesses. This logic underpins the B+HR Global project and is expressed as follows;
The B+HR Global project's outcome is to promote a just recovery while preserving the competitiveness of Japanese companies. The project will strengthen responsible business practices in Japan and the target countries through improving the ability and understanding of national authorities, Japanese businesses, suppliers and partners to carry out Human Rights Due Diligence.
The project has two outputs:
Output 1: Japanese companies, their suppliers and partners are supported in their efforts to remain competitive and drive a just recovery by ensuring compliance with Human Rights Standards throughout their value chains.
Activity 1.1: Detailed studies, including industry specific risk profiles, of the human rights challenges focused on the operating scenarios of Japanese companies and supply chain partners.
Activity 1.2: Blended training courses (a combination of web based and in person courses) on Human Rights Due Diligence.
Activity 1.3: Guidance to selected companies interested in conducting Human Rights impact assessments or in assessing their impact on peace and conflict in specific country contexts.
Activity 1.4: Production of a toolkit to guide companies in ensuring their post-pandemic economic recovery respects human rights standards.
Output 2: Governments and other state authorities of 13 countries are supported in the development or implementation of National Action plans on Business and Human Rights or similar policies.
Activity 2.1: Advocating for the adoption of NAPs or similar policies that introduce a responsible business environment with a level playing field for businesses.
Activity 2.2: Technical Assistance to develop baseline assessments to determine the most salient Human Rights challenges caused by operations of companies (including Japanese companies), their suppliers and partners, with inputs from CSOs and NHRIs.
Activity 2.3: Facilitation of peer learning opportunities among states, including their presence at regional and annual forums on Business and Human Rights, which UNDP has conducted since 2016 in Asia, as well as subsequently in other regions including Eastern Europe.
Activity 2.4: Development of NAPs monitoring facilities in those countries where NAPs have already been adopted.
Start date: April 2022
Projected end date: April 2023 (extension until 2024 is being considered)
Geographic coverage: Kyrgyz Republic (global project in 17 countries and Japan)
Subject area: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Project coordinator: Zhenishbek Arzymatov
Partners: Ministry of Economy and Commerce, Akiykatchy (Ombudsperson) of the Kyrgyz Republic, Embassy of Japan.
Target beneficiaries: Public; private and civil society; Japanese companies in Kyrgyzstan and their supply chains
Funding Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan