30 Jun 2017 - by A4ID

Business and Human Rights Workshops in Uganda and Tanzania

A4ID is delighted to be working in partnership East Africa Law Society (EALS) to provide training and workshops on business and human rights for lawyers in Uganda and Tanzania. On this occasion Allen and Overy (A&O), are providing their expertise pro bono in delivering training in these workshops.

The workshops, delivered in Kampala and Dar es Salaam this week, will continue the discussions in East Africa around the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Yasmin Batliwala, A4ID’s Chief Executive commented: “These workshops not only introduce lawyers to the core messages of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, but also equip them with the practical knowledge to develop a human rights policy and grievance mechanism. Building on the success of A4ID’s business and human rights programme in Kenya, we hope that these trainings will act as a springboard for continuing peer-to-peer exchange on how lawyers can help companies to respect human rights.”

Gauthier van Thuyne, A&O Partner, commented: “As lawyers, it is our duty to give clients comprehensive advice on human rights risks by anticipating potential problems to save time and money.  These workshops will give an overview of global standards and discuss implementation tools and policies tailored for East African conditions.”

Each workshop will draw on practical examples, including from the extractive and manufacturing industries, which are particularly relevant in the East Africa region. James Freedman, A&O Counsel, stated: “Clients need an all-around vision and awareness of pressing issues in the African market. We have seen that companies operating in Africa who integrate human rights throughout their business model gain in reputation and stability – it’s good for business. And the reverse is also true”.

Brenda Dosio, EALS Program Officer said, “Disseminating information on the responsibilities of companies towards human rights with regard to, for example, labour practices, and the development of human rights policies are important and timely given the large plantations and growing extractive sector in the region.”

The workshops received financial and technical support from Rule of Law Expertise UK (ROLE UK) and UKAid. Further workshops are planned for lawyers in Burundi, Kenya and Zanzibar later in the year.