The Council of Europe has undertaken concrete action in the field of human rights and business since 2010, when the Parliamentary Assembly adopted two resolutions on the matter. In 2011, the Committee of Ministers requested the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) to elaborate a study on the feasibility and the added value of new standard-setting work of the Council of Europe on corporate social responsibility in the field on human rights. To this purpose, the CDDH first prepared a preliminary document listing the existing standards and outstanding issues in the field. On this basis, the Committee of Ministers instructed the CDDH at the beginning of 2013 to elaborate, by the end of 2015, a political declaration supporting the UN Guiding Principles as well as a non-binding instrument, which may include a guide of good practice, addressing gaps in the implementation of the Guiding Principles at the European level.
To perform these tasks, the Drafting Group on Human Rights and Business (CDDH-CORP) has been set up and has already held four meetings (14-16 October 2013, 12-14 February 2014, 24-26 September 2014 and 25-27 February 2015). At the third meeting, held in September 2014, Serge Bronkhorst, Managing Director of ACCESS Facility, was invited to give the keynote speech. For the remaining meetings of the CDDH-CORP, ACCESS Facility has been granted observer status. For the meeting reports of the first three meetings and for futher information on the Council of Europe's work on human rights and business, please visit their website.