GOU launches new business and human rights action plan

In October 2021, the Government of Uganda launched the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP), joining a group of just thirty countries who have done so, and becoming only the second African country to approve such a plan. The aim of the NAP-BHR is to guide implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) adopted in 2011. Those principles are based on the three pillars of the state’s duty to protect human rights, business responsibility to ensure its operations do not undermine human rights and ensuring access to elective remedies for victims of rights abuses involving businesses.

Speaking at the launch of the plan at an event in Kampala on 28th October 2021, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Hon. Betty Amongi Ongom said the NAP is a “key tool in providing guidance to the State and non-State actors on the requirements that all business operations are to be conducted in line with human rights standards”. Addressing the launch event, the EU Delegation’s Deputy Head of Mission, Ms. Anna Merrifield called the adoption of the new plan “a big step in the right direction” and emphasized the EU’s interest in linking the implementation of the action plan to the Sustainable Business for Uganda (SB4U) platform.

The plan will be implemented over five years through a collaborative effort involving government ministries, departments and agencies, private sector organisations and civil society. The EU Delegation and EU Members States are currently assessing how their own plans to focus on the Business and Human Rights agenda can be tailored to support the implementation of the NAP.