What Good is a NAP for Developing Countries? An Assessment of Achievements and Prospects for National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights in the Global South

global south

National Action Plans (‘NAPs’) represent the primary means by which States can meet their duty to protect and to provide access to remedy under the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights (‘UNGPs’). A looming question for the business and human rights movement and proponents of the UNGPs, therefore, is to what extent Global South countries will undertake a NAP process. The development of NAPs only in the Global North, which are largely aimed at curbing harmful corporate conduct by multinationals in the Global South, is a clear impediment to the development of a global governance system that can avert corporate human rights violations, the very objective of the NAPs project. By examining efforts to develop NAPs in two Global South countries, Kenya and Chile, this talk will shed light on Global South perspectives on NAPs and prospects for UNGP diffusion in Africa, Asia and Latin America through them.

About the speaker

Joanne Bauer is a Senior Researcher for the Business and Human Rights Program, at Columbia’s Center for the Study of Human Rights. She also co-leads an international initiative on Teaching Business and Human Rights based at Columbia. From 2006 -2012, she was Senior Researcher at the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, where she was in charge of the Centre’s Asia work. She serves as an adviser to a number of non-profits and projects, including Inclusive Development International, Accountability Counsel, Oxfam, the Business and Rule of Law Program at Singapore Management University, and the Center for Applied Legal Studies at the University Witswatersrand in Johannesburg. Her research includes the following projects: National Action Plans on Business & Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples and the Extractives Sector; Investment Chain Mapping; the Effectiveness of Non-Judicial Grievance Mechanisms; Business and Human Rights Advocacy; and Benefit Corporations.