We are delighted that several ACCA member organisations participated in the 2017 annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva. During the Forum, ACCA member organisations and friends of ACCA convened, and released the following statement with their reflections and call for action:
ACCA STATEMENT - 2017 ANNUAL UN FORUM ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Published on 30 November 2017
Download the ACCA statement here
The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) congratulates the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (Working Group) on its successful convening of the 6th Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, from 27–29 November 2017.
ACCA commends the Working Group on its choice of Access to Remedy as the theme for this year’s forum; especially considering that Access to Remedy was also the theme for this year’s ACCA General Assembly which took place in Pretoria, South Africa, from 14-16 November 2017, and is one of ACCA's thematic focus areas.
ACCA thanks the UN Working Group for providing ACCA with a platform to present the findings from its research on Access to Remedy, in the session entitled: An African perspective to access to remedy – Regional challenges and needs.
ACCA acknowledges and commends the UN Working Group’s efforts to ensure greater diversity in this year’s forum by facilitating the participation of more persons of colour, particularly, African civil society actors, women, and business host community members at this year’s Forum. ACCA further acknowledges the Working Group’s efforts to include investors from the global South, which is representative of its commitment in getting all stakeholders to engage in the Forum.
ACCA calls upon the organisers of the Forum to further encourage attendance and participation from governments (particularly of African states), and various diplomatic representatives at the Forum.
ACCA highlights that convening of communities can lead to creating a space for communities to bolster community-to-community exchanges for experience sharing. ACCA maintains that there can be no remedy for communities who have lost their right to self-determination.
ACCA urges African states to ensure that self-determination is guaranteed to all communities by respecting norms, cultural practices, customs and traditions of different communities whose rights are adversely affected by the activities of corporations. ACCA calls on African governments to ensure timely, adequate and fair compensation during evictions and resettlement in accordance with international best practice. ACCA strongly promotes principles of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).
Lastly, ACCA urges African states to guarantee access to information for its citizens by ensuring that relevant information reaches local communities on time, and in an appropriate format and language. Confidentiality clauses in investment contracts should not trump human rights.