Skip to main content

Business and Human Rights – DFAT Call for Input


The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is developing a National Plan on Business and Human Rights, and is seeking consultation with interested individuals and groups, both Irish and international. In developing this plan, the Department will lead a consultation process with members of the public, Government departments, agencies, the business community and civil society groups.


This builds on the DFAT NGO Forum on Business and Human Rights, which took place in Dublin in November. At the Forum, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, led discussion with human rights organisations, business leaders, and civil society representatives on what the priorities of the National Plan should be.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights state that governments have the duty to protect human rights, companies have a responsibility to respect rights, and both governments and companies must work to provide a remedy when violations occur. This is known as the “Protect, Respect, and Remedy” framework. Ireland is a member of the Human Rights Council for the 2013-2015 term.

Commenting on the development of Ireland’s National Plan, Minister Flanagan said:

“It is important for Ireland’s standing internationally and the reputation of Irish companies that we respond to the call from the UN Human Rights Council and the European Union to develop a national plan on business and human rights which will provide Irish companies with guidance on how to ensure respect for international human rights principles in their activities.

“The perspectives and contributions of all interested parties are crucial to the development, legitimacy and effectiveness of the national plan. I urge people to take advantage of this opportunity to engage with the development of the Plan.”

Both the United Nations and the European Union have called on all States to develop National Plans in order to implement the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The Irish Plan will help boost Ireland’s reputation as a state which promotes responsible business practice both in Ireland and internationally.



Press Office
13 January 2015


Notes to editors:

Anyone wishing to make a submission is invited to email the Human Rights Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at businesshr (at) dfa (dot) ie before 1 March 2015.

More details on the development of Ireland’s national plan on business and human rights can be found at:

Suggested guidelines for submissions:

  • It would be appreciated if submissions could begin with an introduction to you and/or your organisation, your particular expertise and area(s) of interest.
  • Then please note the pillar(s) of the Guiding Principles and which area(s) of Irish domestic or foreign policy you wish to cover.
  • We are seeking concrete recommendations that could be included in a draft national plan.

Submissions may form part of the Department’s permanent records and may be releasable under the Freedom of Information Act.

By submitting information electronically, parties accept that any personal or sensitive data may not be fully secure. Parties may alternatively send their submissions by post to:

Colin Wrafter
Director, Human Rights Unit
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
80 St Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2