Workshops on Business and Human Rights in Tanzania and South Africa Build Capacity and Facilitate Strategy-Setting Among Civil Society Groups and National Human Rights Institutions
Beginning in November 2014, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) partnered with the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) in Tanzania, the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria (CHR) in South Africa, and the Khulumani Support Group in South Africa to support the development of National Action Plans (NAPs) on business and human rights in each country.
This initiative is a follow-up project to ICAR’s seminal report with the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) on NAPs, entitled National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights: A Toolkit for the Development, Implementation, and Review of State Commitments to Business and Human Rights Frameworks, launched in June 2014.
A substantial component of this year-long project is focused on activating and building the capacity of key partners in Tanzania and South Africa on business and human rights issues, initiatives, and strategies. To facilitate this component of the project, ICAR and its project partners collaborated with DIHR, the Tanzanian Commission on Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG), and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to co-host workshops on business and human rights in each country during the month of July. The Tanzanian workshop took place in Dar es Saleem from 13-15 July, and the South African workshop took place in Johannesburg from 20-22 July.
Each workshop included approximately 20 civil society representatives and 20 national human rights institution (NHRI) representatives in each country. Participants actively engaged in interactive business and human rights training exercises and strategy-setting throughout the course of three days. At the conclusion of the Tanzanian workshop, civil society groups and CHRAGG committed to issuing a joint statement on business and human rights, to be submitted to the Tanzanian government. As a result of the South African workshop, SAHRC committed to reviewing and providing input into ongoing civil society projects in this area.
As part of this ongoing project, ICAR is supporting the efforts of LHRC, CHR, and Khulumani to develop and complete "shadow" National Baseline Assessments (NBAs) of current implementation of business and human rights frameworks in Tanzania and South Africa. Utilizing the data gathered through the completion of the "shadow" NBAs, the projects will develop key recommendations and priority areas in relation to the content of NAPs and the process to be followed in the development of NAPs in each country. The "shadow" NBAs and corresponding recommendations will be released in November of this year.
For more on ICAR’s ongoing work on NAPs, including the Tanzania and South Africa projects, contact Sara Blackwell, ICAR’s Legal and Policy Coordinator - Frameworks Programs, at email@example.com.