Melike Yetken, a senior advisor for corporate responsibility with the U.S. Department of State, provided an update for approximately 40 USCIB members on May 2 on the U.S. National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct (NAP). Yetken’s update was part of USCIB’s bi-annual Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Committee, which took place over two days in Washington, DC. In her update, Yetken discussed the goals of the NAP – to emphasize positive contributions and to mitigate negative aspects and highlight that the U.S. is the only government that has written a NAP on responsible business conduct.
“This first U.S. NAP lays a great foundation,” said USCIB Vice President Gabriella Herzog, who recently came on board to lead USCIB’s practice on corporate responsibility and labor affairs. “This is particularly so since it brings together in one place all of the initiatives in which the entire U.S. government has been engaged for years – and in many instances, leading global efforts, whether on government transparency and anti-corruption or forced labor, child labor and human trafficking.”
USCIB co-hosted the first public consultation on the NAP two years ago and has since advocated alongside its global partners and other major business organizations for the U.S. and other governments to develop these strategic planning tools to implement the State Duty to Protect under Pillar 1 of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. When done well, NAPs can help support businesses in implementing their responsibility to respect human rights in their own operations and those of their business partners.
Committee Chair Laura Rubbo of Disney presided over these meetings, which were hosted at the offices of Foley and Lardner. The meeting spanned various pressing topics such as the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct, the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) program on decent work in global supply chains, the Customs Tariff Act of 1930 and human rights and mega-sporting events. USCIB members also heard from former USCIB staffer Adam Greene in his capacity as senior advisor for the Bureau for Employers’ Activities at the ILO who gave an exclusive update on the ILO Program on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains.