UNDP and Japan partner to advance responsible business practices

Speaking at the launch, the Ambassador of Japan to Ghana, H.E. Mr. MOCHIZUKI Hisanobu, emphasised the need for businesses to comply with human rights laws, noting that its promotion at the business level served as a way for companies to remain internationally competitive.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with funding from the Government of Japan, has launched a new project to help contribute to Ghana’s continuous efforts to ensure responsible business practices.

The project which is being implemented in 17 countries in Africa including Ghana will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 on decent work and economic growth by strengthening efforts for the effective implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This is to better equip governments and companies to understand and act on their duties and responsibilities to prevent human right abuses.

Speaking at the launch, the Ambassador of Japan to Ghana, H.E. Mr. MOCHIZUKI Hisanobu, emphasised the need for businesses to comply with human rights laws, noting that its promotion at the business level served as a way for companies to remain internationally competitive.

“While it is essential that companies respect human rights, it is most important that companies conduct due diligence in the current international trend. By doing so, they would not only mitigate legal and reputational risks but also appeal to workers to whom they are offering an attractive working environment and ultimately improve their competitiveness,” he said.

Addressing the audience, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Ghana, Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov mentioned that the project would strengthen efforts to support the Government of Ghana and companies to respect the human rights of those in the business sector.

“UNDP and the Government of Japan are working together to ensure the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals and will continue to support efforts aimed at promoting the rights of all and accelerating the achievement of the SDGs through all its interventions in Ghana,” he stated.

In her remarks, the Deputy Commissioner of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mrs. Mercy Larbi, added that “supporting the advancement of responsible business conduct to address human rights abuses will be critical if Ghana is to attain the SDG 8 and this project is timely.

The Deputy Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Mrs. Diana Asonaba Dapaah, commended the project. She noted that “human rights go hand in hand with development. Therefore, we must continually and constantly ensure we are able to address human rights abuses created by various organisations. We must take a more proactive approach rather than being reactive to tackling human rights abuses, particularly in our businesses”.

The project will contribute to Ghana’s efforts to address issues such as forced labour, trafficking, health, safety and environmental abuses to ensure that human rights are protected and vulnerable people in society are not unduly affected.

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