Ireland’s National Plan on Business and Human Rights 2017-2020 was launched in late 2017.
The implementation of this whole-of-government plan was overseen by an Implementation Group comprised of representatives of government, civil society and business. Both the Plan itself and the Programme for Government included commitments to a review of implementation which was completed in consultation with stakeholders during 2021.
The Government noted the finalised review at its meeting on 3 December 2021. It is published on the Department of Foreign Affairs' website: www.dfa.ie/media/dfa/ourrolepolicies/humanrights/Review-of-Implementation-of-National-Plan-on-Business-and-Human-Rights-2017-2020---for-website.docx.pdf
The Programme for Government also contains a commitment to “ensure that the Action Plan is further developed to review whether there is a need for greater emphasis on mandatory due diligence”.
In this regard, the European Commission in February published a proposal for an EU Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, which is currently under consideration in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The concept of human rights due diligence is already encapsulated in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct, also under the remit of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
Given the focus on due diligence in the Programme for Government commitment and the lead role of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment in this area, my Department is liaising closely with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to carefully consider the development of the new National Plan, taking due account of the focus on due diligence.