Discussing Business and Human Rights in Tanzania: stakeholder workshops

This post is also available in: FR NL

On 16 February 2021, Business and Human Rights Tanzania (BHRT), the International Peace Information Service (IPIS) and the Commission for Human Rights and good Goverance (CHRAGG) held a series of bilateral consultations and workshops with civil society and business stakeholders in preparation of the third annual Multi-stakeholder Conference on Business and Human Rights in Tanzania, planned on 17 February.

Workshop with community members and Civil Society Organisation (CSOs).

CSOs who participated in the Voices from Tanzania and members from communities affected by corporate activities gathered at Seashells Millennium Hotel in Dar es Salaam, to strengthen awareness and exchange experiences on issues of corporate human rights harm. These inputs were prepared to be presented in the next day’s multi-stakeholder conference.

Workshop Tanzania

After an introduction to the project objectives, BHRT and IPIS gave an overview presentation on key business and human rights principles. This includes the roles to be played by states, business and civil society in regard to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

In a second session, participants discussed the links between infrastructure projects and human rights. The five CSOs participating in the third series of “Voices from Tanzania” studies shared the findings of their case studies on the human rights impact of large-scale infrastructure projects with community members to collect their feedback.

This workshop aimed to give participants the opportunity to express their views and learn from the others’ experiences. Both community members and CSOs built on the discussions to perfect their interventions for the multi-stakeholder conference.

In a final session, participants exchanged their views on the way forward. CSOs reflected on the way they could disseminate the results of their case studies among the relevant stakeholders. Community members discussed how Business and Human Rights principles could be better understood and implemented in their communities.

All participants agreed on the need to raise awareness and share information on Business and Human Rights within their respective communities and suggested to use similar workshops to reach this goal.

Bilateral Consultation with Business stakeholders

In parallel, CHRAGG organised a meeting with representatives from businesses operating in Tanzania. The main aim of this meeting was to strengthen the multi-stakeholder network on Business and Human Rights in the country and ensure the contribution of the business community in the protection of human rights.

The meeting aimed to reinforce awareness on the UNGPs and especially, on the businesses’ duty to respect human rights in their operations (Pillar II). CHRAGG informed the participating businesses of the key achievements of the project and remaining challenged for Business and Human Rights in Tanzania.

The exchanges allowed CHRAGG to better understand the efforts done by business stakeholders in respecting human rights and the challenges ahead but also to identify best practices in order to find the means required to improve the protection of human rights in Tanzania.

These workshops part of the Improving monitoring, research and dialogue on Business & Human Rights in Tanzania’ project implemented by CHRAGG, BHRT and IPIS, with the financial support of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.