Capacity Building for NHRIs from East Africa, Malawi and Ghana

Meeting Report, 05 February 2012

In the past few years, there have been a growing number of international, regional and national initiatives seeking to ensure that private sector actors carry out their appropriate responsibilities concerning human rights. The work of the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Business and Human Rights (SRSG) has provided these engagements with a common frame of reference through the UN “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework and the Guiding Principles for its implementation which were unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011.

NHRIs have increasingly engaged on issues of business and human rights in recent years. In October 2010, the Tenth International Conference of NHRIs in Edinburgh, Scotland produced the Edinburgh Declaration, which encourages all NHRIs to ‘consider practical functions they can fulfil in promoting enhanced protection against corporate-related human rights abuse, greater accountability and respect for human rights by business actors, access to justice for victims and establishing multistakeholder approaches...’ The Declaration also calls on NHRIs to establish partnerships, include in their institutional plans issues of relevance to business and human rights, create focal points within their respective organizations on business and human rights and report progress during future annual meetings.

To do this, one area that has been identified as requiring immediate attention by a survey undertaken by the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) Working Group of NHRIs on Business and Human Rights is supporting capacity building initiatives to enable NHRIs to engage more effectively with business and human rights issues. IHRB, OHCHR and UHRC organized the two-day workshop in Kampala as a contribution towards achieving this objective.

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