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The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar on the need for businesses to respect and promote human rights in Africa, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Download invitation


COVID-19 Human Rights Talks

Tuesday 12 May 2020
Webinar (Zoom)
11:00 – 12.30 SAST / 10:00 – 12.30 WAT / 12.00 – 13.30 EAT

Click here to register


Theme: Re-imagining Business and Human Rights in times of COVID-19

Moderator: Prof Daniel Bradlow

SARChI Professor of International Development Law and African Economic Relations, International Development Law Unit, Centre for Human Rights

Panelists:

  • Dr Benjamin Traoré
    Project Manager, Secretariat, African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA)
  • Dr Jonathan Kabré
    Postdoctoral Fellow, International Development Law Unit (IDLU)
  • Luis Felipe Yanes
    University of Essex (UK) / Visiting Researcher at IDLU
  • Genny Ngende
    Intern, Secretariat, African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA)

Background

In order to curb the spread of the COVID-19, states have taken unprecedented measures. These measures not only cause dire economic consequences but also impact on human rights. This panel aims to discuss some of the challenges both states and businesses may encounter in the fight against this pandemic. More specifically, panellists will address various issues related to the need for businesses to respect and promote human rights. These businesses include private health providers; pharmaceutical firms and other private actors. The discussion will also analyse the measures taken by governments and its impact on foreign investments and potential claims by investors. It will also suggest some recommendations to strengthen the Business and Human Rights agenda. In order to curb the spread of the COVID-19, states have taken unprecedented measures. These measures not only cause dire economic consequences but also impact on human rights. This panel aims to discuss some of the challenges both states and businesses may encounter in the fight against this pandemic. More specifically, panellists will address various issues related to the need for businesses to respect and promote human rights. These businesses include private health providers; pharmaceutical firms and other private actors. The discussion will also analyse the measures taken by governments and its impact on foreign investments and potential claims by investors. It will also suggest some recommendations to strengthen the Business and Human Rights agenda.

Presentations

Every cloud has a silver lining: Is COVID 19 a catalyst for Business and Human rights?

Benjamin Traoré

Besides its dramatic health related consequences, the pandemic has revealed the extreme fragility of the global economy and the long overdue need to rethink globalization and make it work in a more sustainable way. This presentation analyses how the current pandemic, its probable causes and implications for health systems, workers and the most vulnerable individuals question business activities. It shed light on the need for more duties on businesses to respect and promote human rights and to make their activities more environmentally friendly. 

African States’ regulatory powers in times of COVID-19: challenges and opportunities

Jonathan Kabré

This contribution proposes to discuss the emergency measures taken by African countries, as a response to the current pandemic, from the perspective of investment law. By doing so, the goal is to underscore the challenges those countries might face, coming from foreign investors who may contest some of these measures as well as the possible justifications these States may provide. Given the global nature of this pandemic, we think that it offers an unprecedented opportunity for a better consecration of States’ regulatory powers.

Do-no-harm during Covid-19:
Rethinking the positive obligations of Private Health Providers 

Luis Felipe Yanes

This presentation attempts to challenge our current understanding of businesses responsibilities, reconceptualising the duty to do-no-harm by placing positive aspects to such obligation. It argues that –  as private health providers have the material and human resources to provide the medical support in which the public health sector is failing – during times of crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic, private health providers cannot respect human rights if they do not collaborate with public health systems or deny medical treatment for those in urgent need. 

Reconciling the Business of Vaccines and the Human Rights of Test Subjects

Genny Ngende

Conversations around the Covid 19 pandemic have rightfully centred on creating a vaccine and/or a cure. Although, an actionable item that has received consensus, it has similarly started a parallel conversation on the ethics and human rights concerns of testing for a vaccine. A seminal example of this is the social media furor caused by suggestions to conduct clinical trials in Africa. The colonial account of experiments conducted on African and/or black bodies are well documented and occurred within a time and space devoid of human rights obligations. This foils the current time and space that prescribes human rights adherence and proscribes human rights harms.

Consequently, this presentation focuses on the legal obligations of States and non-State actors, and thus concludes that conversations around the testing of a Covid 19 vaccine should rightfully have a business and human rights perspective.

Click here to register


For more information, please contact:

Johnathan Kabré
Postdoctoral Fellow (IDLU)
Programme Manager: International Trade and Investment Law in Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 6200
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
rj.kabre@up.ac.za

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The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar on the need for businesses to respect and promote human rights in Africa, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Download invitation


COVID-19 Human Rights Talks

Tuesday 12 May 2020
Webinar (Zoom)
11:00 – 12.30 SAST / 10:00 – 12.30 WAT / 12.00 – 13.30 EAT

Click here to register


Theme: Re-imagining Business and Human Rights in times of COVID-19

Moderator: Prof Daniel Bradlow

SARChI Professor of International Development Law and African Economic Relations, International Development Law Unit, Centre for Human Rights

Panelists:

  • Dr Benjamin Traoré
    Project Manager, Secretariat, African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA)
  • Dr Jonathan Kabré
    Postdoctoral Fellow, International Development Law Unit (IDLU)
  • Luis Felipe Yanes
    University of Essex (UK) / Visiting Researcher at IDLU
  • Genny Ngende
    Intern, Secretariat, African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA)

Background

In order to curb the spread of the COVID-19, states have taken unprecedented measures. These measures not only cause dire economic consequences but also impact on human rights. This panel aims to discuss some of the challenges both states and businesses may encounter in the fight against this pandemic. More specifically, panellists will address various issues related to the need for businesses to respect and promote human rights. These businesses include private health providers; pharmaceutical firms and other private actors. The discussion will also analyse the measures taken by governments and its impact on foreign investments and potential claims by investors. It will also suggest some recommendations to strengthen the Business and Human Rights agenda. In order to curb the spread of the COVID-19, states have taken unprecedented measures. These measures not only cause dire economic consequences but also impact on human rights. This panel aims to discuss some of the challenges both states and businesses may encounter in the fight against this pandemic. More specifically, panellists will address various issues related to the need for businesses to respect and promote human rights. These businesses include private health providers; pharmaceutical firms and other private actors. The discussion will also analyse the measures taken by governments and its impact on foreign investments and potential claims by investors. It will also suggest some recommendations to strengthen the Business and Human Rights agenda.

Presentations

Every cloud has a silver lining: Is COVID 19 a catalyst for Business and Human rights?

Benjamin Traoré

Besides its dramatic health related consequences, the pandemic has revealed the extreme fragility of the global economy and the long overdue need to rethink globalization and make it work in a more sustainable way. This presentation analyses how the current pandemic, its probable causes and implications for health systems, workers and the most vulnerable individuals question business activities. It shed light on the need for more duties on businesses to respect and promote human rights and to make their activities more environmentally friendly. 

African States’ regulatory powers in times of COVID-19: challenges and opportunities

Jonathan Kabré

This contribution proposes to discuss the emergency measures taken by African countries, as a response to the current pandemic, from the perspective of investment law. By doing so, the goal is to underscore the challenges those countries might face, coming from foreign investors who may contest some of these measures as well as the possible justifications these States may provide. Given the global nature of this pandemic, we think that it offers an unprecedented opportunity for a better consecration of States’ regulatory powers.

Do-no-harm during Covid-19:
Rethinking the positive obligations of Private Health Providers 

Luis Felipe Yanes

This presentation attempts to challenge our current understanding of businesses responsibilities, reconceptualising the duty to do-no-harm by placing positive aspects to such obligation. It argues that –  as private health providers have the material and human resources to provide the medical support in which the public health sector is failing – during times of crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic, private health providers cannot respect human rights if they do not collaborate with public health systems or deny medical treatment for those in urgent need. 

Reconciling the Business of Vaccines and the Human Rights of Test Subjects

Genny Ngende

Conversations around the Covid 19 pandemic have rightfully centred on creating a vaccine and/or a cure. Although, an actionable item that has received consensus, it has similarly started a parallel conversation on the ethics and human rights concerns of testing for a vaccine. A seminal example of this is the social media furor caused by suggestions to conduct clinical trials in Africa. The colonial account of experiments conducted on African and/or black bodies are well documented and occurred within a time and space devoid of human rights obligations. This foils the current time and space that prescribes human rights adherence and proscribes human rights harms.

Consequently, this presentation focuses on the legal obligations of States and non-State actors, and thus concludes that conversations around the testing of a Covid 19 vaccine should rightfully have a business and human rights perspective.

Click here to register


For more information, please contact:

Johnathan Kabré
Postdoctoral Fellow (IDLU)
Programme Manager: International Trade and Investment Law in Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 6200
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
rj.kabre@up.ac.za