The Centre for Human Rights (CHR), Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is looking for a research consultant to prepare a baseline report on the impacts of the extractive industries on human rights and the environment in Africa. This work forms part of a project in which the CHR offers support to the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment, and Human Rights (WGEI) of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission).

The Centre for Human Rights (CHR) at the University of Pretoria and the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) are pleased to jointly release the “Shadow” National Baseline Assessment (NBA) of Current Implementation of Business and Human Rights Frameworks in South Africa.

This document represents one of the most exhaustive studies of South African laws, policies, regulations, and standards that pertain to business and human rights at the national level.

CHR and ICAR hope all stakeholders, including South African civil society groups, academia, government representatives, business groups, and investors, will engage with this tool, add to it, and apply it in their efforts to address business-related human rights harms.

pdfDownload the “Shadow” NBA for South Africa

The Centre for Human Rights (CHR), together with the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), hosted an Africa regional consultation on National Action Plans (NAPs) for business and human rights. The consultation forms part of a larger project driven by a coalition that consists of CALS, CHR, Singapore Management University (SMU) and other individual experts. The aim of the project is to gather a global South perspective on the content and development process of NAPs for business and human rights. The project was mandated by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (Working Group).

The consultation, which took place at the University of Pretoria, was the second of two scheduled consultations that would feed into an implementation guide on NAPs for business and human rights that is currently being developed by the Working Group. The consultation attracted representatives from international organisations, government, national human rights institutions and the business sectors from 8 African countries.

The programme focused on issues around the development process and content of NAPs and also asked the participants to identify or highlight pertinent issues within their respective countries that should receive attention by a NAP on business and human rights. The participants also discussed the fundamental question, around what the case for NAPs on business and human rights is in Africa, and whether NAPs could potentially address business and human rights concerns on the continent.

The findings of the consultation will result in a report that, together with the findings from the first consultation held in Bali, Indonesia, will be submitted to the Working Group. The Working Group will then consider using the information to update its implementation guiding document. In an attempt to continue consulting relevant stakeholders about NAPs on business and human rights, the coalition also developed an online survey on the topic. All those interested are encouraged to participate in the survey, which may be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TVP3NX5.

The Centre for Human Rights, in support of the African Commission Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment, and Human Rights recently hosted a consultation in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which focused on the impact of extractive industries on human rights and the environment in Central Africa.

The consultation brought together a range of stakeholders working in the field of extractive industries in the Central Africa sub-region, with a strong representation from the DRC. The consultation took place over the course of three days (13 – 15 July 2015), and included presentations from the participants on issues that included environmental impacts of the extractive industries, community engagement and participation, development and human rights, and the different roles and responsibilities of state and non-state actors.

The Central Africa consultation was the third sub-regional consultation in a series of five sub-regional consultations, that hopes to cover all the sub-regions in Africa. The first consultation focused on Southern Africa and took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the second that focused on East Africa took place in Nairobi, Kenya. The findings and submissions from these consultations will be captured in a report that elaborates on the findings of all the different sub-regional consultations.

The hosting of this consultation was made possible by financial support received from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and trade. The fourth sub-regional consultation will focus on and take place in West Africa, though the exact date and time is not yet certain.
Please feel free to send any questions or queries regarding the sub-regional consultations to josua.loots@up.ac.za.
The Working Group also welcomes written submissions for purposes of developing its final findings report on the situation of extractive industries in Africa, and in particular the human rights and environmental impacts.

The Centre for Human Rights, together with the Institute for Human Rights and Business' office in Kenya, hosted a consultation for East Africa on behalf of the African Commission Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights violations in Nairobi, Kenya, from 19 - 21 January 2015. The consultation brought together representatives from civil society, national human rights institutions, affected communities and role players from the extractive sector in East Africa for a three-day consultation focusing on challenges, best practices and the way forward in the sub-region. The Working Group was represented by Commissioners Pacifique Manirakiza and Lawrence Mute, and Expert Members Clement Voule, Sheila Keetharuth and Eric Kassongo.

The East Africa sub-regional consultation involved several panel presentations focusing on the different country contexts, and included views on Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Rwanda. Thematic issues that were discussed over the course of the sub-regional consultation included the role of national human rights institutions in promoting a human rights-based approach to extractive industry governance, the accountability of state and non-state actors with regard to corporate human rights abuse, the experiences of human rights defenders working in the field, experiences of affected communities, benefit sharing practices, and the environmental impacts of extractive industries in East Africa.

The consultation brought together an excellent group of participants, and very insightful and interesting presentations were delivered. The consultation took place in an environment of constructive engagement, and the Working Group managed to engage with the participants throughout the process. The information gathered during the consultation will be contained in a sub-regional consultation report, currently in development and to be published as soon as possible.

It should be noted that invitations were extended to a number of interest groups, and the organisers were disappointed with the lack of participation from governments and the business community. The next sub-regional consultation is scheduled to take place in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, from 6 - 8 July 2015. This consultation will focus on Central Africa and again hopes to bring together representatives from government, national human rights institutions, civil society, affected communities and the business sector.


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