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Liberia Presents Draft National Action
Plan On Business & Human Rights

Following series of consultations and engagements from technicians and stakeholders in
Liberia on Friday, June 17, 2022 presented a draft National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights at the end of a regional meeting held in Senegal.
The presentation which was delivered by Assistant Justice Minister for Economic Affairs, Meo Beyan puts Liberia as the first country in the West African region to present such key document and the third in Africa next to Kenya and Uganda.
The draft document among other things captures six key thematic areas namely: Land and Natural Resources, Labour and Access to Justice. Others are; Environment, Transparency and Gender respectively.
According to Assistant Minister Beyan, Liberia is proud to reach such key milestone on drafting the significant document which captures initial inputs from key stakeholders. “Though we still have a long way to go but the energy , ideas , series of consultations and engagements that were exerted which has resulted into said achievement, is laudable,” he emphasized.
Among other things, the National Action Plan is the Government of Liberia’s policy actions to ensure the rights of all persons are respected by businesses. It also applies to all businesses regardless of their size, sector, operational context, ownership and structure. The document when enforced is expected to be reviewed periodically under the guidance of the National Steering Committee.
Under the United Nations guiding principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), it gives a framework on how government and businesses are to protect and respect human rights including what mechanisms are to be put in place to reduce, mitigate and redress business-related violations.
The action plan seeks to operationalize these principles in practical, real and specific terms, exploring how government discharges the duty to protect in the context of business and how businesses operationalize the duty and respect and more importantly how to ensure access to remedy for individuals or communities adversely affected by business operations.
Moreover, the plan also provides the benchmark for measuring progress and achievements in the implementation process by allocating roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder group in order to advance human rights and business in Liberia.
The head of the National Steering Committee on the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights disclosed that as part of the milestone and continuing engagements, there is ongoing awareness in rural Liberia informing the locals about the importance of Business and Human Rights issues.
He was also quick to stress the importance of support to ensure that they address some of the challenges reflected and or captured within the draft document. The technical extraordinary two days’ working session held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County was organized and supported by the United Nations Office of The High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Making brief statement at the closing ceremony was Melvin Nyanway , Human Rights Officer of the OHCHR who stated that the OHCHR was proud to work with the Liberian delegation to assist in the development of the draft National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights.
According to him, the process which started in 2016 by the United Nations Human Rights Office has now arrived at an appreciable level that is highly commendable.
Mr. Nyanway told the body that the OHCHR worked and helped in the establishment of the National Steering Committee on the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights which led to the drafting of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights including the road map document respectively.
As for the Human Rights anchor, Adama Dempster assured the gathering of the Human Rights Community’s full participation and support to the process. According to him, the milestone process which was rigorously done further demonstrates the sustainable development goals’ slogan that says; leave no one behind which he added has been manifested in the Business and Human Rights initiative.
“We are grateful that development to human rights which is key; has now been captured and is taking a center stage,” he pointed out. Mr. Dempster also hastened to commend the United Nations office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Liberia for both financial and technical support to the process, something he described as laudable. The presentation of the draft National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights which was done by Assistant Minister Beyan on behalf of Liberia puts the country ahead of neighboring countries still in the embryonic stage.
However, the draft National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights has several other stages to go through including regional consultations, massive awareness, and validation before cabinet official endorsement among others.

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