Business and human rights

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights were approved in 2011. The Principles are built on three pillars: states’ obligation to protect human rights, enterprises’ responsibility to respect human rights and the availability of corrective measures. The idea is that each state implements the Principles in their respective operating areas. In Finland, the Government approved a national action plan regarding the Principles on 17 September 2014. To fulfil the action plan, the following has been achieved in Finland:

  • a report on Finnish legislation, international business and human rights;
  • a report on taking account of social considerations in public procurement;
  • with regard to building a dialogue, Finnish grocery trade, NGOs, labour organisations, and public officials have drawn together a shared vision on how to implement UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights in grocery trade's supply chain;
  • with regard to building a dialogue, Human rights impacts of own operations: insights for due diligence is published. The purpose of the document is to raise awareness about human rights issues related to occupational health and safety, discrimination at work, forced labour, adequate wage, excessive working hours, land rights and the freedom of association in countries in which human rights legislation or its enforcement is insufficient;
  • country-specific memorandums on the state of CSR, prepared in connection with export promotion trips The memorandums are available on the Finnpartnership website;
  • a collection of support forms directed to enterprises to develop CSR;
  • providing information and training for enterprises on business and human rights;
  • providing training for public officials on CSR and business and human rights on an online course;
  • establishing a CSR and human rights reporting obligation to state-owned unlisted companies. A compilation of company reports is available in the annual reports of ownership steering;
  • updated guidance on socially responsible public procurement;
  • published a brochure on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the Finnish National Contact Point.
  • execution of a business and human rights capacity building programme for public financing institutions. The programme has been delivered by the non-profit organisation Shift.  The precise goals and achievements of the programme are available in the programme report ”Aligning Finland’s State Financing for Private Sector Activity Abroad with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights”, published in fall 2019.
  • published Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU business and human rights conference’s outcome paper Agenda for Action on Business and Human Rights and Perspectives Paper on stakeholder views.

Implementation of the action plan is carried out by the Government.

Further information: linda.piirto(at)