Human rights-based approach essential to successful National Action Plan

Mrs Mary Nartey, Co-Chairperson of the National Action Plan (NAP), Steering Committee, has stated that a resilient NAP on Business and Human Rights (BHR) required an inclusive and human rights-based approach. She said: ‘The human rights-based approach calls for participation, non-discrimination, empowerment, legality and accountability, such that businesses must be accountable for the human rights infractions and its impact in their area of operations.’ The Co-Chairperson added that persons with responsibility under the NAP must be empowered to carry out their responsibilities towards the adherence to the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP) on BHR. Mrs Nartey made the remarks in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a stakeholder consultative workshop for Women, on the development of a NAP on BHR in Ghana. Ghana has an obligation to develop a NAP to implement the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Inputs from the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and other stakeholders across the 16 regions have also been received to be incorporated into the plan. The adoption of the NAP on BHR would enable Ghana to become the third African country to join Kenya and Uganda. She said the development of the NAP would be beneficial to both the state and non-state actors because inputs have been taken from stakeholders across the 16 regions. ‘So, by the time the NAP is developed, there will be that level of ownership, where people will find themselves in it, so its implementation would be easier unlike others where the concerns of the players are not considered,’ Mrs Nartey added. The Co-Chairperson indicated that the engagement would end this month and that a draft would be ready in September for consideration. Mr Edward Kareweh, General Secretary for the General Agriculture Workers Union, who doubles as a member of the NAP Steering Committee, said women were also engaged because they were a special group within the society and business fraternity. He said women also faced more challenges due to power relation systems in Ghana, and that they were more prone to abuse compared to men. Mr Kareweh said the NAP would take into consideration various challenges and what needed to be done, such that there would be the need for every institution to fully implement it. ‘It will also give further guidelines as to how human rights issues should be dealt with at the workplace, and it will even include that before you register your business, you may need to sign up to ensure that you conform to the human rights standards at your workplace,’ he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency