Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Human Rights

Photo of Cian O'CallaghanCian O'Callaghan (Dublin Bay North, Social Democrats)
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26. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the steps which have been taken to give effect to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; if legislation will be introduced to give effect to the principles which has been done in other EU member states; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6978/20]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Ireland gave effect to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by adopting a National Plan on Business and Human Rights in  November 2017. 

Key commitments of the Plan that have been met to date include the establishment of the Business and Human Rights Implementation Group to oversee its delivery and the completion of a Baseline Assessment of the legislative, policy and regulatory framework for business and human rights in Ireland.

This Assessment, which is available on my Department's website, found that many of the provisions of the UN Guidelines are already covered by existing national and EU legislation.  It made a number of recommendations for consideration by the Implementation Group.  It identified the need for more detailed study on access to remedy for persons whose human rights have been violated as a result of business activities.  Independent research is being commissioned on this topic.

The Baseline Assessment suggested that consideration be given to the adoption of mandatory human rights due diligence provisions and drew attention to measures adopted by other countries that could be used as possible models.  I will await the outcome of the Implementation Group's deliberations before proceeding with specific proposals.

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