CHR and ICAR Release Comprehensive Study of Business and Human Rights Law and Policy in South Africa
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.
For more information, contact Danny Bradlow or Sara Blackwell, ICAR’s Legal and Policy Coordinator for the Frameworks Program
African Mining Vision
The Africa Mining Vision was adopted by Heads of State at the February 2009 AU summit following the October 2008 meeting of African Ministers responsible for Mineral Resources Development. It is Africa’s own response to tackling the paradox of great mineral wealth existing side by side with pervasive poverty.
The AMV is holistic. It advocates thinking outside the “mining box”. Accordingly, it’s not just a question of improving mining regimes by making sure that tax revenues from mining are optimized and that the income is well spent – although that is clearly important. Rather it’s a question of integrating mining much better into development policies at local, national and regional levels. That means thinking about how mining can contribute better to local development by making sure workers and communities see real benefits from large-scale industrial mining and that their environment is protected. It also means making sure that nations are able to negotiate contracts with mining multinationals that generate fair resource rents and stipulate local inputs for operations. And at the regional level, it means integrating mining into industrial and trade policy.
Most of all it’s a question of opening out mining’s enclave status so that Africa can move from its historic status as an exporter of cheap raw materials to manufacturer and supplier of knowledge-based services. The AMV is a first and foremost a developmental mining approach that insists that the royal road to growth is through building economic and social linkages that benefit Africa itself. At the December 2011, 2nd AU Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Responsible Development a concrete Action Plan was agreed. This provides the roadmap for implementing the Africa Mining Vision in the future. Under the Action Plan, the pillars of the Vision will be implemented through nine programme clusters.
The Cotonou Agreement is a treaty between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). The treaty was signed in Cotonou, Benin, in 2000 and revised and updated in 2005 and 2010. The agreement's focus is sustainable development and aims to reduce and eradicate poverty, as well as integrating the ACP countries into the world economy. After the latest revision, the Cotonou Agreement also focuses on fighting impunity through the work of the International Criminal Court.
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is a global standard that promotes revenue transparency and accountability in the extractive sector. It has a robust yet flexible methodology for monitoring and reconciling company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining at the country level. Each implementing country creates its own EITI process adapted to the specific needs of the country. The EITI Standard establishes the methodology countries need to follow to become EITI Compliant. Visit the official EITI website at www.eiti.org.
GFLJD Concept Note
The concept note of the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has released the ISO 26000 standards for social responsibility in 2010. It offers guidelines on social responsibility regarding possible behaviours and actions. In contrast to the ISO Management System Standards, the ISO 26000 does not contain requirements and is therefore not certifiable. The main purpose of the ISO 26000 is to encourage companies to discuss social responsibility matters with all relevant stakeholders and therefore plays an important role in promoting transparency, and public participation.
Tripartite declaration of principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy (MNE Declaration) - 4th Edition
The principles laid down in this universal instrument offer guidelines to MNEs, governments, and employers’ and workers’ organizations in such areas as employment, training, conditions of work and life, and industrial relations. Its provisions are reinforced by certain international labour Conventions and Recommendations which the social partners are urged to bear in mind and apply, to the greatest extent possible. The adoption of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up in 1998 highlighted the importance of the fundamental Conventions in realizing the objectives of the ILO, and consequently, the MNE Declaration takes into account the objectives of the 1998 Declaration.
United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Ruggie Principles)
The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (also known as the Ruggie Principles), is a set of global standards for identifying, preventing and addressing the risk of impacts on human rights to business activity. The Ruggie Principles was unanimously endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011 and was the first document on corporate human rights responsibility to be endorsed by the United Nations. The Ruggie Principles encompasses three basic principles:
- The duty of the state to protect human rights;
- The corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and
- Access to remedy/ redress for victims of business-related human rights abuses.
United Nations Global Compact
The United Nations Global Compact (Global Compact) is an initiative by the United Nations to encourage businesses to adopt sustainability and socially responsible policies, as well as reporting on the implementation of these policies. It is a principles-based initiative, focusing on issues around human rights, labour, the environment, and anti-corruption. The Global Compact is the world's largest corporate citizenship initiative, and primarily has two objectives - to mainstream the ten principles in business activities around the world, and to catalyse actions in support of broader UN goals such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Included below is a concept note on the Global Compact and Business Human Rights.