On 20 September 2023, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Olinger, and representatives of 18 Luxembourg companies signed the National Pact on Business and Human Rights, in the presence of the House of Sustainability.
The National Pact on Business and Human Rights is part of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (PAN 2), adopted by the government in December 2019 following a collaborative effort between the public sector, the private sector, national human rights institutions, civil society, trade unions and the academic world.
The National Pact is a voluntary commitment aimed at business leaders wishing to implement the United Nations guiding principles on business and human rights.
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs is delighted to see that 18 new companies have committed to a joint effort to promote and respect human rights by signing the National Business and Human Rights Pact. 50 companies had already signed the Pact at the first signing session in July last year.
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs welcomes the partnership with the House of Sustainability, which will now support signatory companies in implementing the Business and Human Rights Pact.
By signing the Pact, companies undertake to :
- make their staff and stakeholders aware of the need to protect human rights in the workplace,
- appoint a person responsible for human rights within the organisation,
- train relevant employees in business and human rights,
- develop governance tools to identify risks and prevent human rights violations,
- implement one or more means of redress to deal with reported cases of human rights violations,
- publish a standardised annual report on the measures implemented.
By signing the Pact, companies benefit from the following advantages:
- visibility as a signatory
- training in business and human rights,
- tailor-made support,
- confidential feedback on their annual report from an external expert, enabling them to commit to continuous improvement in terms of respect for human rights.
The commitments linked to the Pact also enable the companies concerned to prepare themselves usefully for the future European Directive on the due diligence of companies with regard to sustainability.
The National Pact “Business and Human Rights” website is hosted by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (https://gd.lu/b3njr3).
Launched by the INDR, the UEL and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the National Pact is a voluntary commitment that prepares companies for the forthcoming publication of the European directive on due diligence and corporate responsibility.
“As a signatory of the National Pact, UEL wishes to promote partnership and a joint commitment between the state and companies to meet European obligations. Companies are supported in implementing due diligence in their value chain and benefit from the expertise of strong partners such as the House of Sustainability, supported by the Chamber of Commerce and the Chambre des Métiers and in partnership with the INDR,” said UEL Director Jean-Paul Olinger.