Amina Bouayach’s advocacy of mandatory human rights directives in Africa
International

Amina Bouayach’s advocacy of mandatory human rights directives in Africa

Mandatory directives on Due Diligence in human rights issues continue to cause new complications in their implementation, which call for the identification of issues related to the development of our approach at the local, regional and international levels, the President of the National Council for Human Rights emphasized on Wednesday in Accra (CNDH), Amina Bouayach.

Speaking at the 14th Conference of the Network of African National Institutions for Human Rights, which takes place from October 17 to 20, 2023 in the capital of Ghana, under the theme “Consolidating Responsible Commercial Behavior and Respect for Human Rights ‘Man in Africa'”, Mrs. Bouayach is noted that the dialogue between Africa and Europe clearly aims to establish European directives, through policies and procedures for preventing human rights violations and reporting on its efforts in this area.

She stated that with a population of 1.2 billion, 70% of whom are under 30 years of age, and which will reach 2 billion in 2050, with 60% living in urban areas, compared to 40% currently, the challenges that Africa faces are significant. , including more than 600 million people without access to electricity, and nearly a billion without access to clean cooking.

The President of the CNDH, in this sense, asked some questions related to the implications that this new European regulation will have, the impacts of which will differ depending on the context and the readiness of different actors on our continent to adopt and respect them.

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This includes cooperation between the EU and African countries, conditioned by clauses related to human rights that would be included in trade or cooperation agreements between the two parties and in case of non-compliance, sanctions and restrictive measures could be adopted.

It also discusses potential challenges for African suppliers that may arise in meeting the increased due diligence requirements imposed by businesses, compliance with laws and procedures, and obligations related to risk assessment and reporting requirements. , as well as the commitment of European companies with business interests in Africa to strengthen the protection of workers’ rights and improve their engagement with local communities in Africa.

Thus, Ms. Bouayach emphasized that due diligence entails the obligation to pay special attention to consultations, the participation of different actors (children, women and refugees and migrants), especially working to guarantee the protection of their rights and their well-being. .

She pointed out that the duty of care in human rights issues becomes a framework for investment, for evaluating international relations in economic matters and that it implies obligations. In this sense, the president of the CNDH presented some ways of action for, based on the experience of the CNDH, especially for the organization of advocacy and promotional activities towards business entities and the general public, in connection with the obligations and standards of concern for corporate sustainability. It also refers to establishing recourse mechanisms to support victims and process complaints regarding human rights violations or environmental damage by companies and conducting investigations to ensure that companies are held accountable for their actions.

The participation of the CNDH in this conference, through the delegation led by the President of the Council, Amina Bouayach, is part of the continuity of its commitment within the Network for the Promotion of Human Rights in Africa and the strengthening of cooperation and coordination between national institutions for human rights.

This conference aims to examine the role of national institutions in the implementation of human rights within trade operations and the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.

The program of this conference, initiated by the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions in collaboration with the Human Rights and Administrative Justice Commission of Ghana, includes a series of sessions on the relationship between human rights and trade in Africa.

At this conference, the report on the progress of the network secretariat and the report of the migration working group, which was established in December 2018 and is chaired by the CNDH, will be presented, in addition to the re-election of members of the Executive Board and representatives of the network in the bodies of the Global Alliance of National Institutions for Human Rights.

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