Post by Issack Morogo
Kenya has developed a blue print for its 2030 vision which will accelerate the country’s economic development into a middle-income country; This has attracted not only the business investors from western companies but also investors from Asian companies notably China.In the recent past business investments focused on Agriculture and Horticulture but currently with the discovery of oil, gas and natural resources the scramble for what was called unproductive lands has triggered lots of interests.The Kenyan Government earmarked mega projects in terms of alternative energy, resort cities and the LAPSSET project; which are of major concern to pastoralists and indigenous communities.
IMPACT and PARAN Alliance in partnership with Swedwatch organized a training on business and human rights based on UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights; In order to strengthen communities responses to challenges and risks posed by already existing and upcoming investements.Participants drawn from different Civil Society Organizations across the country attended the 3-day training, where varied issues on business, human rights and environment were deliberated.Some of the key issues discussed include and not limited to;UN Guiding Principles (UNGP) on Human Rights based on 3 blocks; 1. PROTECT-states have a duty to protect human rights 2. RESPECT-It's corporate responsibility to respect human rights 3. REMEDY-access to effective remedies (For both the states & companies).
In order to build a good solid case, CSOs have to do ample research and documentation on business and human rights.As the Civil Society Organizations its important to Identify & assess both potential and actual risks and their magnitude during the research on human rights violations.Kenya National Commision on Human Rights (KNCHR) acts as a watchdog for the government on promotion and protection of Human Rights.It helps in implementation of human rights processes and therefore, there is need for companies/business investors to identify risks and impacts of Human Rights violations that is; identify risks & impacts,respond, track and communicate.
Swedwatch is an NGO that focuses on the nexus between business, human rights, and the environment.They conduct in-depth research and investigations, enables and promotes dialogue between stakeholders and works toward capacity-exchange.