The first half of 2022 has flown by, and we’re taking the opportunity to reflect on all that’s been accomplished over the last 6 months, as well as the important challenges that lie ahead.
This year, many positive changes have occurred in the field of responsible business and Human Rights:
The European Commission has launched a new proposal for mandatory Human Rights and Environmental Due diligence, which will ask companies to:
- Integrate due diligence into their policies
- Identify actual or potential adverse impacts
- Prevent and mitigate potential adverse impacts, bring actual adverse impacts to an end, and minimise the extent of these impacts
- Establish and maintain a complaints procedure
- Monitor the effectiveness of their due diligence policy and measures, and publicly communicate in this regard
There has been an increase in the number of business and Human Rights action plans being drafted. Such plans are part of the responsibility of States to disseminate and implement the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
In Africa, Kenya and Uganda have completed their action plans, whereas Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, and Zambia are in the process of making plans. Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania have committed to developing their action plans.
We are encouraged by the fact that many international and national companies, as well as state players, are deepening their understanding of the importance of respecting and protecting Human Rights in Africa, and the need to address and remediate the salient issues.
What lies ahead
The pressing need to develop a vision for Africa that enables businesses to enrich the lives of the workers they employ, the communities they impact, and the environments in which they operate. By addressing the key social, environmental and governance issues facing Africa as a whole, namely, youth employment, gender equality, forced labour, climate change and loss of biodiversity, companies can help make great strides towards protecting and honouring workers and the environment.
Creating spaces for the global South, and Africa in particular, to shape and take ownership of the responsible business and Human Rights agenda.
Building opportunities for workers engaged in international supply chains – as well as their communities – to access climate change funds, including carbon credits, to develop mechanisms that allow them to become more resilient to climate change.
As we gather momentum to end off 2022 on a positive note, we would like to thank our dedicated team, partners, and industry peers for continuing to work towards a better Africa for all.