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Monday, November 16 • 10:30 - 11:45
Regional trends and dialogue: Africa

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A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.

Session organized by the Working Group on Business & Human Rights and OHCHR Business and Human Rights Unit

Interpretation in English and French

Brief description of the session: 
This Forum session is part of the Forum track on trends and challenges in promoting business respect for human rights in the context of each region of the world. Building on the Africa regional session held in 2019, This session will provide an opportunity to look into the latest developments on Business and Human Rights in Africa and to discuss how best to build on ongoing initiatives, led by a variety of stakeholders across the region, to advance corporate accountability. The session will consist of a panel discussion among key actors working to promote human rights in the context of business activities in Africa, followed by a discussion with the audience.

Key specific objectives of the session: 

The session aims to:
  • Address the role of the African Union, including its Policy on Business and Human Right in taking meaningful action to promote responsible business conduct by States and businesses in line with the UNGPs.;
  • Share good practices and learn from the experience of ongoing efforts led by governments, civil society and other  actors aimed at advancing implementation of the UNGPs in  Africa;
  • Discuss how to build on these initiatives to move forward.
  • Inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Background to the discussion: 
Human rights challenges differ widely across African countries and, over the past two decades, human rights abuses involving business actors have become an issue of increasing concern. While many communities continue to experience negative impacts of business activities across all sectors, Business and Human Rights (BHR) has been placed at the core of important policy developments and initiatives designed to improve accountability in the region.

The political momentum galvanized by the development of the African Union Policy on Business and Human Rights together with ongoing local and regional initiatives undertaken to advance corporate accountability offer a promising opportunity to affect positive change. However, these efforts have yet to translate into inclusive, informed and constructive action to achieve positive policy and regulatory results and improved human rights protection, at the national and regional level. This discussion will be aimed at clarifying how the ongoing developments and initiatives can be built upon to foster the effective implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and enhance corporate accountability in Africa.


The session will help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Moderators
JK

Joe Kibugu

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre

Speakers
avatar for Githu Muigai

Githu Muigai

member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Githu Muigai is current Associate Professor of Law, Department of Public Law, University of Nairobi; Chairman at the Council of Legal Education in Kenya; and Senior Partner, Mohammed & Muigai Advocates. He previously served as a Commissioner with the former Constitution of Kenya... Read More →
JG

John Gbodi Ikubaje

Political Officer, African Union
avatar for Gladice Pickering

Gladice Pickering

Deputy Executive Director, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Namibia
avatar for Abiodun Baiyewu

Abiodun Baiyewu

Executive Director / Co-Chair, Global Rights / African Coalition for Corporate Accountability
NN

Naomi Nwokolo

Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network Nigeria
I am a very passionate human rights lawyer. I believe that fundamental human rights should be exercised by everyone regardless of age, culture, tribe or sex. It is the duty of government to protect the rights of its citizens and all parts of society including business should play... Read More →
avatar for Phyllis Omido

Phyllis Omido

grassroots environmental activist and co- founder, Center for justice governance and environmental action
Phyllis Omido, is a Kenyan grassroots environmental activist and co- founder of the center for justice governance and environmental action an organization that advocates for the right to a clean and healthy environment and socioeconomic rights of marginalized and ignored communities... Read More →
avatar for Tinashe Makuyana

Tinashe Makuyana

Human Rights Officer, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission
Next to research and teaching work in CSR and Law with focus on Business and Human Rights, I am Project Manager of the International Business and Human Rights Arbitration Initiative, aiming at the Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration



Monday November 16, 2020 10:30 - 11:45 CET
Plenary Room