January 2020, the Federal Council approved the revised Action Plans 2020-2023
on corporate social responsibility, and on Business and Human Rights. The
federal government promotes the implementation of a responsible business
conduct. It is an important contribution to sustainable development and to
solving societal challenges.
The National Action Plan for Business and Human
Rights was revised by the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and
Research (EAER) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) with the
involvement of external stakeholders (business associations, civil society,
academia) for the period 2020-2023. It builds on the results achieved so far
and will continue to support companies with effective measures. This includes
in particular the creation of support measures for the implementation of human
rights due diligence (tools, guidelines, etc.) and cooperation with
multi-stakeholder initiatives that can support SMEs in particular.
Due diligence procedures for Swiss SMEs in the field of human rights: new brochure
What benefits can a company derive if it respects human rights? How can it ensure that it conducts business responsibly? SECO and the FDFA are publishing a brochure for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on their human rights responsibilities.
This brochure gives Swiss SMEs a practical overview of the opportunities and challenges of responsible business conduct. It provides international and national guidelines on this subject. It also provides tips for integrating human rights into corporate governance. The brochure provides an overview of the steps required to implement human rights due diligence. It is specifically aimed at SMEs and provides useful and specific information for human rights risk assessment.
The multipartite advisory group for the National action plan implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights unites since 2017 representatives of business associations, the civil society, the scientific community and the Confederation. The advisory group is consulted when questions of substance or strategic issues concerning the implementation of the NAP arise.
UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
The UN Human Rights Council endorsed the UNGP in June 2011. The UN Guiding Principles (UNGP) are rooted in an awareness that corporate activities can also have adverse human rights impacts.
The UNGP represent an important step towards closing the governance gaps. They define the international policy framework for the State duty to protect, and corporate responsibility with regard to human rights. The UN Guiding Principles rest on three pillars:
The coordination office of the National action plan on business and human rights is affiliated to the SECO and the Human Security division of the FDFA.We respond to your questions by e-mail: