Ghana is on the cusp of adopting and launching its National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, in a collaborative effort between the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice. Key stakeholders are providing support in this endeavor.
The conference focused on the theme “Nurturing Responsible Business Conduct and Respect for Human Rights in Africa: The Role of African National Human Rights Institutions in Centring Human Rights and People's Rights in the Context of Business Operations and the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.”
The three-day event gathered 46 national human rights institutions from six African countries, human rights commissioners, and activists to deliberate on advancing responsible business conduct and human rights.
Dr. Bawumia emphasized the importance of national human rights institutions in Africa monitoring business operations, investigating abuse allegations, and ensuring victims receive necessary remedies.
He urged participants to address violations that might not be reported but come to their attention through monitoring.
Dr. Bawumia commended the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) for its pioneering role in business and human rights and for organizing the conference to foster best practices among member countries.
He acknowledged the CHRAJ's efforts, particularly its baseline assessments on business and human rights, as foundational steps towards developing and adopting the National Action Plan. Dr. Bawumia affirmed the government's support for CHRAJ to fulfill its mandate.
He called on African leaders to support their national human rights institutions, emphasizing the need for strong, independent, and results-oriented institutions to guide improvements in human rights records.
Dr. Bawumia stressed the need for collective action by all stakeholders, including governments, national human rights institutions, corporate actors, and civil society organizations, to advance responsible business conduct and respect for human rights.
He highlighted the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as a crucial call to action to help create a better world.
Dr. Bawumia congratulated CHRAJ Commissioner Joseph Whittal for taking on the leadership of the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions and commended CHRAJ's contributions to human rights advocacy in Ghana.
The Vice President expressed optimism that the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions would continue to make significant contributions to policy development and the improvement of the business climate, ultimately fostering resilient African economies and sustainable development.
The government eagerly awaits the outcome document of the conference as a guiding force in these important endeavors.