Second Regional Consultation of the Treaty Initiative in Kenya
The Treaty Initiative held a second regional consultation in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23-25 October 2015, to identify challenges in access to justice and remedy, explore relevant thematic areas for the content of the UN treaty on business and human rights and begin planning for a regional advocacy platform of African CSOs to push for the treaty in their countries, as well as utilizing the treaty process to advance demands for regulation and remedy at all levels. The African regional consultation, that follows the successful Asia Pacific CSO consultation held in Thailand in May 2015, was convened by ESCR-Net and FIDH and co hosted with the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) – a member organization of ESCR-Net.
With over 35 participants representing more than 20 civil society organizations, representatives of affected communities, grassroots leaders, NGO advocates and legal practitioners had a unique opportunity to share and analyze experiences of corporate abuses within the African context, in conversation with members of the Treaty Initiative’s Legal Group. Forced eviction, land grabbing, persecution of human rights defenders, disproportionate impacts on female community members, and environmental harms were highlighted as human rights violations affecting African communities. Additionally, civil society organizations identified priorities in relation to the use of judicial and non-judicial mechanisms, as well considered other strategies to hold corporations accountable under the framework of the treaty process.
Recognizing the importance of developing collective advocacy efforts that promote the creation of a treaty that will benefit African communities, the CSOs present decided to develop a joint statement calling for a binding international instrument to address human rights violations committed by corporations. The statement calls for a treaty to cover all human rights and all corporations, both national and multinational, including private and state-owned companies. Please read the full African civil society joint statement here.