National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

CONCEPT NOTE

Project Theme: A Critical Review of the Draft National Action Plan (NAP)

Date: 23rd August 2019

Venue: The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Stock Exchange House, 2-4 Customs Street, Lagos, Nigeria

Organised by the International Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (IN-CSR) in association with the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria (NHRC) and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)

Background

While there is ample evidence on the costs of corporate-related human rights abuse borne by organizations – whether in terms of about 120 factory workers that died after a massive fire swept through a rubber slippers/aluminium spoon/bottled water factory in Ikorodu, Lagos State in 2002, 20.9 million people estimated by ILO to be victims of forced labour in 2018 (mostly from Africa), the $1bn needed to restore the environment damaged by oil extraction in Niger Delta or more recently, 14-year-old Joseph Ekwenobe (Jnr) who was electrocuted by a faulty machine at the factory of a Lagos-based Chinese footwear company – the financial implications for companies, however, are still poorly understood.

Getting more clarity on the costs and risks to companies that result from adverse human rights impacts might help to break the impasse in the implementation of human rights due diligence as an integral part of organizations’ corporate governance thereby support the business case for the National Action Plan (NAP). Widely accepted by the global business community during the negotiations of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights though is that due diligence obligation is the salient business strategy through which companies demonstrate their respect for human rights. However, multiple concerns have been raised about the current draft document ranging from the issue of exclusion of some key stakeholders during the consultation process to the rate of awareness, implementation plan and adoption within the Organised Private Sector (OPS).

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