Promoting responsible business conduct in-country


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with funding from the Japanese government, has commenced a project to promote responsible business conduct in the country.

It forms part of the global UNDP/Japanese Government partnership across 17 countries, including Ghana, titled: ‘Promoting Responsible Business Conduct with particular focus on promoting human rights due diligence in global supply chains and leveraging the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for a just recovery’.

Mr. Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, noted that one of the reasons the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals is a transformative development framework is that they are based on human rights.

“Over 90 percent of the goals and targets of the SDGs correspond to human rights obligations”.

He added that the private sector can play a leading role in developing a more equitable and sustainable society by addressing social inequality, economic exclusion and climate change.

The deputy UNDP representative noted that the 2030 agenda calls on businesses to act as a catalyst and an agent of change in the transition to a world where development is inclusive and sustainable for all.

Unfortunately, the pandemic and its associated challenges have also hindered the implementation of some of the SDGs.

“We are now faced with a huge challenge: How do we build back better from the pandemic in order to achieve the SDGs? The answer at least, in part, is that this can only be done with the participation of the private sector”.

This accentuates the need to speed up the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) which were recognised by the 2030 Agenda as one of its means of implementation, he added.

For her part, Mercy Larbi, Deputy Commissioner for CHRAJ, observed that the commission has a broad mandate to protect universal human rights and freedoms – including civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; and other international human rights instruments which Ghana has ratified.

She added that the human rights functions of the commission can be divided into two main categories, which are enforcement and promotion.

Ms. Larbi indicated also that business enterprises have obligation to respect human rights.

“Enterprises can affect the human rights of their employees, their customers, workers in their supply chains or communities around their operations, and all persons in general”.

Consequently, HRDD required businesses to take measures to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address actual potential adverse human rights impacts in their organisation.

As a requirement in the corporate responsibility, businesses will be required to provide HRDD as a prerequisite to operate in the country.

The Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ stated that a Steering Committee is in the process of drafting a National Action Plan. “We hope that the action plan will be ready by the end of this year”, she added.

The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mochizuki Hisanobu, indicated there is an international trend that businesses should follow the international human rights standards, where UNDP has played a significant role.

Consequently, Japan has been working closely with relevant stakeholders to ensure that businesses across the world adhere to this global standard of doing business.

“Our joint collaboration with UNDP on this project will be implemented in seventeen countries, further demonstrating Japan’s commitment to promoting the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,” Ambassador Hisanobu said.

In July this year, the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice launched the ‘National Baseline Assessment on Business and Human Rights in Ghana’, co-led by Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice.

Leave a Reply