DAR ES SALAAM: THE government has unveiled its strategic plan that will ensure that business and investment activities abide by laws to avoid violation of human rights.
The government unveiled its strategy on Thursday by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Ms Mary Makondo during a consultative meeting on business and human rights organised by the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) held in Dar es Salaam.
She said that the government is making great efforts to attract investors and business activities so that the economy of the country continues to grow rapidly.
“Our country needs to set a strategy that will ensure protection of human rights in businesses so that they can contribute to the implementation of its policies and national development strategic plans and Development Vision of 2025″ noted Ms Makondo.
She said that experience has shown that various commercial sectors have been violating human rights when the activities do not comply with the laws of the country.
Ms Makondo mentioned some of the laws including the Constitution, UN Conventions and various regional and international human rights agreements.
According to her, the negative impact of businesses and investment which do not comply with the country’s laws, include illegal land acquisition which leads to land disputes and complaints of low compensation, environment pollution and air pollution from industrial activities.
Ms Makondo mentioned other consequences including demolition of buildings, violation of the principles of good governance in employment, workplace safety, compensation for loss of employment, favouritism in awarding of tenders, corruption in public procurement and discrimination at workplaces.
Moreover, the PS said that in ensuring that laws, policies and plans are implemented effectively, the government involves various human rights stakeholders including civil society organisations, religious institutions, political parties, trade unions, business associations, CHRAGG and communities in general.
The preparation of Action Plans for Human Rights and Business is supported by the African Union (AU), the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations.
“Other stakeholders are the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) and the Business Centre of Africa,” she added.
On her part, Zanzibar’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of State, President’s Office, Constitution, Legal Affairs, Public Services and Good Governance, Ms Mansura Kassim said due to the growth of business in the country, respect for human rights is important.
Ms Mansura said that her office is ready to cooperate with CHRAGG in ensuring that the plan for human rights in business and investment is implemented.
Speaking earlier, Chairperson of CHRAGG, Retired Judge Mathew Mwaimu said there are various benefits of having a national work plan for human rights and business, including strengthening the culture of respecting human rights in business activities.
He said another benefit is to strengthen the understanding of various stakeholders and society regarding human rights in business issues and the United Nations Guidelines on Human Rights and Business in general.
(Rtd) Judge Mwaimu also said the work plan will prevent and reduce violation of human rights in the implementation of business activities.