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Kenyan Bishops Conference calls on government to defend human rights from business – CIDSE

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Kenyan Bishops Conference calls on government to defend human rights from business

The Kenyan Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement to call on the Kenyan government to enact a series of measures to ensure the respect of human rights in corporate supply chains. It draws on various pieces of legislation, both Kenyan and international.

The statement notes the development needs in the Kenyan region, and the potential of business to contribute to development, but that the fruits of development will not be realised if public and state interests are captured by elites.

It also calls for the Kenyan government to support the UN negotiations for the binding Treaty on business and human rights. It seeks a Treaty that ensures the prevention of human rights abuses by transnational corporations; free, prior and informed consent; legal liability for corporations across all business relationships; access to remedy for affected communities and individuals; the primacy of human rights over trade and investment and strong enforcement mechanisms. The conference also notes the need for that the Treaty have a strong gender analysis and be cognisant of the rights of women and indigenous communities, and pay particular attention to the experiences of women human rights defenders.

It notes that as good stewards of God’s natural environment, we have a responsibility to respond and work with public sector actors as the church to remedy the risks to which the market exposes the vulnerable.

Photo credit: Facebook page of the Kenyan Conference of Catholic Bishops