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Uganda Business and Human Rights CB Dec 2013

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Fiona Southward

on 19 June 2015

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Transcript of Uganda Business and Human Rights CB Dec 2013

Capacity Building: Business and Human Rights,
9th and 10th December 2013, Kampala
IPIS Research and ActionAid Uganda

IPIS Research and ActionAid Uganda
Business and Human Rights
State obligations and business responsibilities
Current Issues in Business and Human Rights
Business, human rights and oil in Uganda
Working at the local / national level
Gabriella, Anna and Chris
Welcome back!
Being part of your State review at the international / African level
What we covered yesterday
Questions and reflections
The role of civil society
Engaging with companies
Investigating corporate conduct
Holding companies to account
Feedback and wrapping up
Goodbye and stay in touch!



Environmental health
Rape & sexual abuse
Child labour
Indigenous peoples issues

Labour rights
Access to water
Workplace safety

Past: companies chose their approach
Now: human rights based approach

Actions at the UN level
Global Compact 2009

UN Draft Norms 2003

Special Representative of the Secretary General 2005

Three pillar framework 2008

I State duty to
against human rights abuses by third parties, including business.
II Corporate responsibility to
human rights.
III Greater access by victims to effective
, judicial and non-judicial.

Guiding Principles (UNGPs) 2011

Working Group on B&HR 2011

Where are we now?
Sectoral initiatives

Legislative change


Civil Society

Lawsuits against companies

Non-judicial complaints mechanisms

OECD Guidelines on MNEs

But a lot still remains to be done!



All three pillars are interrelated. Need them all.
BUT the primary responsibility is on States.


States must protect against human rights abuse within their territory and/or jurisdiction by third parties, including business enterprises.

This requires taking appropriate steps to prevent, investigate, punish and redress such abuse through effective policies, legislation, regulations and adjudication.

States should set out clearly the expectation that all business enterprises domiciled in their territory and/or jurisdiction respect human rights throughout their operations.

Enforce laws that are aimed at, or have the effect of requiring business enterprises to respect human rights,

Periodically assess the adequacy
of such laws and address any gaps;

Ensure that other laws and policies
governing the creation and ongoing
operation of business enterprises,
such as corporate law, do not
constrain but enable business
respect for human rights
Provide effective guidance
to business enterprises on
how to respect human rights
throughout their operations
Encourage, and where
appropriate require,
business enterprises to
communicate how they
address their human
rights impacts
States should take additional steps
to protect against human rights abuses
by business enterprises that are owned or controlled by the State, or that receive
substantial support and services
from the State
States should exercise adequate oversight in
order to meet their international human rights obligations when they contract with, or
legislate for, business enterprises to
provide services that may impact upon
the enjoyment of human rights.

States should promote respect for human
rights by business enterprises with which
they conduct commercial transactions.
Because the risk of gross human rights
abuses is heightened in
, States should help ensure that business enterprises operating in those contexts are
not involved with such abuses.
States should ensure that governmental departments, agencies and other State-based institutions that shape business practices are aware of and observe the State’s human rights obligations when fulfilling their respective mandates, including by providing them with relevant information, training and support.
States should maintain adequate domestic policy
space to meet their human rights obligations when pursuing business-related policy objectives with other States or business enterprises, for instance through investment treaties or contracts.

Promote business and human rights when acting as members of multilateral institutions that deal with business- related issues,


As part of their duty to protect against business-related human rights abuse, States must take appropriate steps to ensure, through judicial, administrative, legislative or other appropriate means, that when such abuses occur within their territory and/or jurisdiction those affected have access to effective remedy.

State-based judicial mechanisms

States should take appropriate steps to ensure the effectiveness of domestic judicial mechanisms when addressing business-related human rights abuses, including considering ways to reduce legal, practical and other relevant barriers that could lead to a denial of access to remedy.

State-based non-judicial
grievance mechanisms

States should provide effective
and appropriate non-judicial grievance mechanisms, alongside judicial mechanisms, as part of a comprehensive State-based system for the remedy of business-related human rights abuse.

Non-State-based grievance mechanisms
States should consider ways
to facilitate access to effective non-State-based grievance mechanisms dealing with business-related human
rights harms.

OTHERS (to come later)

Operational level grievance mechanisms

Industry, multi-stakeholder and other collaborative initiatives that are based on respect for human rights-related standards should ensure that effective grievance mechanisms are available.

Economics / wealth
Environment, ecology, and wildlife
Livelihoods and employment
Community dynamics
Land rights and indigenous populations
Freedom of expression and from
arbitrary detention
campaigns &
State reporting to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
Using the
Business and Human Rights Resource
OECD National Contact Points
Business should act with due diligence
to (1) avoid infringing on the rights of others
(2) address adverse HR impacts of their operations
What is due diligence?

DD is a legal expression referring to a certain standard of care.
NOT a norm in itself, but a process whereby individuals and entities discharge their responsibilities with reference to a given standard
HRDD in detail
Step 1/ The policy
Developing a human rights policy in line with the UNGPs
How do companies do this?
Ho do NGOs check compliance?

Step 2/ Risk assessment
Assessing risks through the HR lens requires coverage of actual and potential HR impacts
1/ caused the company
2/ to which the company contributed through its operations, activities or
business relationships
Step 2/ Risk assessment
How do companies do this? How do NGOs check copliance?

HRIAs draw on internal and external HR expertise & involve meaningful stakeholder engagement
neutral stakeholders/ conveners/ mediators: what's their role?
Step 3/ Impact mitigation
Preventing is not enough. Adverse impact should be dealt with (mitigation)
UNGP 13 & UNGP 19B
Appropriate action needs to
be carefully devised on a case-by-case basis depending on the exact nature of
acts/omissions of the company
or its business
Step 4/ reporting
on HRDD progress
tracking/ reporting on performance,
monitoring the outcomes of the HRDD
process & improve where necessary.

reporting is KEY to keep stakeholders
on board and compare performances.

How? Several projects on
B&HR indicators have been launched,
including in this year's B&HR Forum
in Geneva
Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) releases top 10 B&HR issues every year
on HR Day, 10 December
What's your guess for this year?
What are the B&HR topics to be urgently addressed?
Our pick: The resource curse
How do we make sure that in countries like Uganda the exploitation of oil benefits the majority of the population and
not just a few people?
Our answer: greater focus on potential HR impacts, starting at the earliest stages of the exploitation cycle
Contextualizing: recent oil discoveries in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda show that it is key to address the HR dimension of business
Resource curse at the regional level
mega-infrastructure projects like the LAPSSET corridor could have a huge HR footprint.
How could impacts be understood before contracts are signed?
Any lessons learned from similar investments elsewhere?

Resource curse at the global level
This is NOT an African problem, it's a global challenge!

- Mongolia
- Myanmar
- Arctic Circle
- ...

lobbying business
lobbying government

building capacity
encouraging an action plan on business and human rights
National Consultations
stakeholder summary

5 / 10 pages
5-6 months
in advance
coalitions to lobby other governments
working group
dialogue - public viewing
Uganda's last: 2011
Uganda's next: 2016
"In accordance with Article 62
of the African Charter on Human and Peoples'
Rights, States Parties to the Charter are required to
submit every two years, a report on the legislative or other measures taken, with a view to giving effect to the rights and freedoms recognised and guaranteed by the Charter."
State report uploaded
Date given for Commissions' examination
60 Days prior deadline for shadow report
Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Uganda vs. Rolling Stone
High Court : 2011

- fundamental rights and freedoms
- dignity; privacy

- permanent injunction
- damages
Trafigura in the Ivory Coast
Dumped toxic waste in Côte d'Ivoire knowing that they could not dump it off the coast of the Netherlands unless they paid very high clean-up costs.

Health impacts; 16 died.

Court in the Netherlands took up the case (litigated by Leigh Day and Co.)

Trafigura had t o pay
$1.3 million

A broad definition of stakeholders
Stakeholders are a group of people with an interest in an organisation' s actions, objective or policies
Getting practical and compiling a list of stakeholders
owners/ shareholders

clients, suppliers, contractors etc.


NGOs/ civil society groups
the communities from which
the company draws the
resources it needs
A successful stakeholder engagement plan
Culturally Appropriate
Do the UNGPs refer to stakeholder engagement?
YES! At key stages of the HRDD process:
1/ risk identification/ assessment (Step 2)
2/ Reporting/ tracking (Step 5)
3/ Design & smooth functioning of grievance mechanisms/ remediation processes
Under the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises
Lists & summary of cases by OECD Watch
BHRCC leading information hub on B&HR
Information-sharing on cutting edge issues and longstanding challenges in B&HR
Conversation with companies concerning allegations of misconduct
10 December! Happy human rights day!
theatre/drama shows
Uganda HR Commission

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