The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-net) and the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) organised the 4th People’s Forum on Business and Human Rights which took place from 26th to 28th October, at the Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. A total of 43 participants from all corners of the globe converged in Kenya with the overarching objective of reviewing the progress made, collectively defining new strategies in addressing issues of human rights abuses by TNCs, and establishing a common agenda between the members of the network and its partners for 2016.
Representatives from various NGOs, social movements, university lecturers along with a range of experts including members from the Legal Group of the United Nations on Business and Human Rights convened during the three-day event which focused on the below topics:
- Strategies for working as a network in addressing issues linked to abuses by TNCs;
- The content of a future UN treaty on Business and Human Rights;
- Exchanges and planning of a regional advocacy for a treaty;
- Effectively documenting human rights abuses by companies;
- Strategies for effectively dealing with issues linked to Chinese investors;
- Businesses’ control over governments in host countries;
- Protection of human rights defenders;
- Businesses and the issues of gender and access to land ownership;
- The responsibility of companies in the context of business and agreements; and
- Corporate social responsibility of businesses operating in Africa.
By the end of the Forum, participants had not only reviewed the work and progress made by the ESCR-Net over the past few years, but were able to collectively define and elaborate on matters which included: new strategies to effectively address issues linked to human rights abuses by TNCs, the content of a future UN treaty on Business and Human Rights, along with the common agenda between members of the network and its partners for 2016.