For implementation of the National Action Plan, the Federal Government has appointed an Interministerial Committee on Business and Human Rights. The Working Group on Business and Human Rights of the Federal Government National CSR Forum supports the activities of the this Interministerial Committee.
CSR Forum Working Group on Business and Human Rights
The Working Group on Business and Human Rights is part of the Federal Government’s national CSR Forum.
Federal Government National CSR Forum
The Federal Government’s National CSR Forum is a multi-stakeholder body comprising representatives from policymaking, business, trade unions, civil society and the scientific community. It includes the former steering group for development of the NAP, in which various stakeholders and departments were represented.
The CSR Forum advises the Federal Government on all issues surrounding corporate social responsibility. For example, it supports the activities of the Interministerial Committee on Business and Human Rights for implementation of the NAP and makes recommendations to the Federal Government for the implementation and further development of the NAP process.
BMAS provides office services for the CSR forum and its working groups.
Working Group on Business and Human Rights
The Federal Government’s National CSR Forum is able to establish working groups on specific issues. Among these is the Working Group on Business and Human Rights.
This is chaired by the deputy director of the German Institute for Human Rights (DIMR), Michael Windfuhr. It supports the activities of the Interministerial Committee on Business and Human Rights for implementation of the NAP and submits recommendations. The working group includes trade associations, unions, non-governmental organisations and representatives of relevant foundations and associations. The Working Group on Business and Human Rights meets once every two months – alternately with the Interministerial Committee on Business and Human Rights – discusses the implementation of individual measures relating to the NAP and makes recommendations to the Interministerial Committee. Recommendations are made by consensus.
Berlin CSR Consensus
The Berlin CSR Consensus on Corporate Social Responsibility in Value and Supply Chains was adopted by the Federal Government’s National CSR Forum in 2018. It is a multi-stakeholder body that advises the Federal Government on corporate responsibility issues. The Consensus is the first consensus document to be adopted by all stakeholders relevant to CSR in Germany and sets out the requirements for responsible management of supply and value chains in a globalised economy. Consequently, the Berlin CSR Consensus provides important guidance for companies of all sizes and across all sectors.
Representatives of employers’ associations, unions, chambers of commerce and civil society organisations were involved in its development. The Berlin CSR Consensus underscores key governance and management principles and sets out the central elements of responsible supply and value chain management.
It aims to provide companies across all sectors with guidance on how to properly exercise corporate responsibility with regard to social, environmental and human rights due diligence.
Responsibility for sustainable supply and value chains does not lie with companies alone. It is a challenge for the whole of society and involves a wide range of stakeholders, including governments, administrations, industry associations, chambers of commerce, unions and other civil society organisations.
With regard to stakeholder responsibility, the Berlin CSR Consensus sets out how social partners, chambers of commerce and civil society can contribute to promote responsible and sustainable supply and value chains.
In addition, the CSR Consensus also states what social partners, chambers of commerce and civil society expect of the Federal Government.