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Information and training opportunities

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There is a wide range of information and training opportunities on the subject of human rights due diligence. The following list provides an overview of some that are relevant.

The National CSR Forum which was launched by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in 2009 and currently consists of 41 members – high-ranking experts from business, trade unions, non-governmental organisations and research bodies as well as representatives of the participating federal ministries. The tasks of the National CSR Forum include advising the Federal Government on the continuing development of the national CSR strategy and the implementation of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. This also ensures, among other things, that the assistance enterprises need to successfully meet their due diligence obligations must be continually communicated to the Federal Government and the services correspondingly adjusted, when possible.

The Forum drafted a "Berlin CSR Consensus on Corporate Responsibility in Value and Supply Chains." It was adopted on 25 June 2018 and provides companies with practical guidance on how to implement responsible supply chain management.

Organisation: National CSR Forum
Link: Berlin CRS Consensus on corporate responsibility in supply and value chains

The Federal Government's CSR awards are a recognition for companies that make their business activities sustainable socially, ecologically and economically. The aim is to reward, promote and give concrete support to responsible corporate conduct. The award is aimed both at large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises. After doing so in 2013, 2014 and 2017, the Federal Government will give out awards for ideas, approaches and concepts for sustainable management for the fourth time in 2020. Since 2017, there has also been a special award for responsible supply chain management.

Organisation: Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Since 1999, companies have been able to make commitments to the United Nations to comply with certain social principles, and in particular human rights principles and ecological principles: This is called Global Compact. The Ministry has funded the German Global Compact Network (DGCN) since 2004 in close cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office. As a business-driven multi-stakeholder forum, the network has provided training courses since 2000 on implementing corporate responsibility for human rights at management level. The Federal Government is working to expand these services and to reach even more companies, especially German SMEs, with the formats. This includes awareness-raising measures as well as the practical handling of individual elements of human rights due diligence.

In cooperation with Twentyfifty Ltd., the DGCN offers, for example, the qualification program "Fit für den NAP", which supports companies in systematically implementing human rights due diligence. The program offers both "beginners" and "advanced" well-founded assistance in the introduction and further development of human rights due diligence.

Organisation: German Global Compact Network (DGCN)

The portal supports companies in tackling the implementation of human rights due diligence and further developing their management approaches. It offers support for process steps, access to self-assessment tools and argumentation aids on the relevance of human rights due diligence.

Organisation: German Global Compact Network (DGCN)

The Federal Government has supported the Business and Human Rights Resource Center information platform since 2012. The website monitors and evaluates the human rights policies/work of more than 7000 companies in over 180 countries and provides information on human rights challenges by region, issue, risk group, and even by enterprise. A German-language version of the platform was launched in 2014.

Organisation: Business and Human Rights Resource Center

The Agency for Business and Economic Development (“Agentur für Wirtschaft und Entwicklung” / “AWE”) was created in 2016. It is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and its personnel is provided by the GIZ and DEG. It advises enterprises operating in developing and emerging countries regarding assistance and information provided through development policy measures. With the “Helpdesk Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte” (Helpdesk Business and Human Rights), the agency offers enterprises customised advice regarding the requirements laid down by the National Action Plan for business operations in developing and emerging countries. The central task of the Helpdesk is to be the first point of contact for companies and provide individual initial advice (in person, by telephone, by e-mail) on the requirements of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights.

Organisation: Agency for Business and Economic Development (AWE)
Link: /

Phone: +49 (0) 30 726217 – 1060, -1062, -1063
Twitter: @AgenturWirtEnt

The CSR risk check offers companies an individual risk assessment of their international business activities in the area of human rights as well as environmental, social and governance issues. It supports the company's own risk assessments and proposes solutions for minimising risks.

Organisation: MVO Nederland, Agentur für Wirtschaft und Entwicklung (AWE), UPJ e.V.

The Chambers of Industry and Commerce are already very active in providing enterprises with guidance. German Chambers of Commerce Abroad can inform enterprises about the current legal and de facto situation in foreign countries. In some countries, the chambers, in cooperation with German development cooperation agencies, operate CSR centres of excellence which provide advice on CSR measures.

Organisation: Chambers of Industry and Commerce, Chambers of Commerce abroad

The following organisations also regularly organise workshops, webinars and seminars focusing on CSR and human rights due diligence of companies:

Practical example: Haas & Co. Magnettechnik

The family-owned company Haas & Co. has, for almost a decade, com­mitted itself to protecting human rights along its supply and value chain. It demonstrates how even smaller companies can do justice to their responsibility. Two things Managing Director Christopher Haas has never lacked are ideas and initiative.