UN group of independent experts on business and human rights ends mission

Accra – A United Nations group of independent experts on business and human rights has ended its 10-day official visit to the country with a call on Ghana to prepare its economy, society and institutions to ensure its expanding economy does not undermine human rights protection.  The Group, which was led by Pavel Sulyandziga, advised that, in the wake of the country’s rapid economic growth, national and foreign investors need to demonstrate greater respect for human rights.

Alexandra Guáqueta, a member of the Group, delivering the statement

Alexandra Guáqueta, a member of the Group, delivering the statement

The two-member mission of the Working Group on the issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises were in the country to gather information on current initiatives, opportunities and challenges in implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Ghana.

Their preliminary observations cover business and human rights issues surrounding the oil and gas sector; the mining sector; land acquisition and use; child labour in the fishing and cocoa sectors, informal verses formal sector labour issues and;  e-waste recycling challenges.

The Group met with broad stakeholders including government authorities, business organizations, workers and civil society organizations in the Greater Accra region.  They further carried out field visits and interacted with local stakeholders in Ashanti and Central regions.

A cross section of the audience at the press conference

A cross section of the audience at the press conference

Final report from the country visit and recommendations will be included in an official report to be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2014. In the meantime, the Group will continue to verify all the information received.

Read the full statement on their preliminary observation and the press statement issued today at the end of the mission.