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The process of drawing up the Action Plan

In 2014, the Federal Foreign Office assumed primary responsibility for the development of the NAP. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety were actively involved. The process of drawing up the Plan was based on international recommendations, especially those of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

At the end of 2014 a steering group was appointed. Besides representatives of the six government ministries listed above, it included three representatives of business organisations (the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, the Federation of German Industries, and the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry), two representatives of associations of non-governmental organisations (“Forum Menschenrechte” and the Association of German Development and Humanitarian Aid NGOs), one representative of the German Trade Union Confederation, and two advisory members, the German Institute for Human Rights and econsense. For expert consultation and public involvement, two formats were created: plenary conferences and hearings. The members of the steering group played a major role in shaping both of these formats.

The help of additional experts was enlisted on an ad hoc basis for event planning. A process document was published and an information page with access to documentation was created on the Federal Foreign Office website www.diplo.de to publicise the process.

The first plenary conference, held in the Federal Foreign Office in November 2014, served to identify priority issues, the final list of which was adopted by consensus by the participants from business, trade unions, non-governmental organisations, and federal ministries. Thematic mentors were chosen from the steering group to prepare the discussion of each issue. In May 2015, the German Institute for Human Rights presented a National Baseline Assessment, a review of the current situation based on interviews with experts from the various groups of participants in the process. This assessment was discussed with interested members of the public at a second plenary conference, conducted by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Federal Foreign Office in May 2015. A total of 12 hearings on the priority issues took place between April and November 2015, each attended by about 40 experts. The results of these hearings were collated at the third plenary conference, held by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Foreign Office in December 2015, which concluded the consultation process. Following a phase of consultation with the other government ministries, the Action Plan was presented to the Federal Cabinet in December 2016.