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Business and Human Rights: Stakeholders engaged on development of National Action Plan

A national consultative workshop on the development of a National Action Plan (NAP) on Business and Human Rights has been held in Kumasi for key public sector actors.

Ghana has an obligation to develop a NAP to implement the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) on Business and Human Rights.

The UNGPs are a global framework to ensure states perform their obligation to protect the fundamental human rights of all persons in their country, and businesses comply with existing human rights laws or regimes both internationally and national.

It is also to address human rights abuses arising out of the negative impacts of their business operations.

To achieve the desired aims of the UNGPs, Ghana, with support from the Danish Institute of Human Rights (DIHR) conducted a National Baseline Assessment to identify the existing gaps within the human rights ecosystem.

Subsequently, the country launched the National Baseline Assessment (NBA) and commissioned an 18-member Steering Committee, Co-Chaired by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, to draft the NAP.

Funded by the Oxfam and Frederick Ebert Stiftung, the goal is to provide a blueprint and guidance to state actors to work within the confines of the laws and be accountable to the people to ensure the protection of their human rights.

It is against this background that the Steering Committee has been holding national consultative workshops across the 16 regions of Ghana to sensitise stakeholders on the concept of human rights, apprise them on the gaps identified under the NBA and ultimately to solicit their inputs into the National Action Plan.

The Kumasi workshop was the last in the series of engagements by the committee to put together the NAP.

Mrs Mary Adjeley Nartey, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee, said a resilient NAP required inclusive and participatory approach and a sustainable implementation.

Stakeholder engagement is a way to deepen democracy and take cognisance of peculiarities across the various regions to ensure a holistic implementation of the plan.

She reminded the participants of how their valuable contributions could shape the final plan and make it national in character.

‘As state actors your valuable and rich inputs, suggestions, comments and recommendations are necessary to ensure ownership of the plan, as well as its holistic and nationwide implementation,’ she said.

Source: Ghana News Agency