In marking the 10th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in June 2021, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the intention to update and revitalize the USNAP, highlighting the ongoing importance of this international framework and the extensive work still required to achieve its aims.
The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) and the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) welcome the opportunity to provide joint input for the current review of the United States National Action Plan (USNAP) on Responsible Business Conduct. IHRB and WBA are committed to encouraging responsible business practices around the world consistent with international human rights, labour and environmental standards. Governments are critical to achieving this objective, including through effective legislation and incentives that shape business performance at home and abroad.
The current USNAP has a number of shortcomings in monitoring government progress on implementing its commitments, as well as in calling for new actions, including mandatory business actions, to prevent and address adverse impacts on human rights caused by or linked to business activities domestically and abroad. Our organisations believe that the ongoing process to update the USNAP serves as an important opportunity to address these issues and advance the implementation of the UNGPs both by the State and by companies. This submission provides evidence and recommendations on the following topics:
- Improving implementation of USNAP commitments
- Addressing domestic and extraterritorial scope
- Developing mandatory business human rights due diligence legislation
- Strengthening policy coherence by embedding human rights within priority areas such as climate change, labour, SEC disclosures, director duties, public procurement, and technology