The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboa Dame, on Monday, launched the Ghana National Baseline Assessment of Business and Human Rights.
He also inaugurated a Steering Committee to develop a national action plan on Business and Human Rights in Ghana, with a charge on the members to deliver within three months.
Under the auspices of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the report came out of a collaboration with the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), the office of the Attorney-General and the Ministry of Justice, and with support from the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DHIR) and OXFAM.
It evaluates the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Ghana. These principles aim to advance the prevention and redress of human rights abuses amongst businesses. The report was validated in July last year.
According to Commissioner for CHRAJ, Joseph Whittal, the report hinges on four (4) critical sectors of the economy; Labour, Petroleum, Finance and Mining. It examines the “Government’s progress in achieving its obligations to respect, protect, and fulfil human rights and fundamental freedoms, the compliance level of businesses in respecting applicable laws and upholding human rights in the performance of their business functions, and the existence of appropriate and effective judicial and non-judicial remedies accessible to victims when their rights and human blight ions are breached.”
The report found, critically, that; “although some governments policies, laws, treaties and institutions meet the standards set by the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs), there remain some gaps that require urgent attention to enhance Government and Businesses’ protection of, and respect for human rights, and remedy to human right abuses in Ghana”.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Dame said the action plan should provide a framework that ensures respect for human rights in business environments.
“The National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights will promote a harmonious relationship with which both business and communities can thrive by providing a comprehensive framework for the coordination of multi-sectoral efforts to ensure respect for human rights in business operations. [It will] also provide guidance to the state and non-state actors on the requirement for all business operations to be conducted in accordance with human rights tenets. Again, [it] will result in positive human rights outcomes through the creation of decent jobs, the creation of health, education and other services pursuant to the requirement for the advancement of equality by providing opportunities for marginal groups”.