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Human Rights

Simply put, Human Rights are basic rights that people from all races, creed and origins should have and endeavor to uphold. According to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights; human rights are inherent to all human beings, whatever your nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, language, or any other status.

While many State parties have signed and ratified various national and international human right provisions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights, just to list a few; the abuse of people’s rights continue to rise in Africa, especially in countries where violence and corruption prevail. Similarly, citizen’s participation in the promotion of human rights continues to be hampered by repressive regimes on the continent and increasingly, most of the human rights cases remain unreported. This has led to a myriad of development issues such as torture, gender related issues, xenophobic attacks, increasing levels of poverty, corruption and many other issues.

Similarly, while the State is often accused of not playing a stronger role in stopping these human rights abuses in Africa; the private sector is not absolved. For instance, within the extractive sector, there are reports of human rights abuses especially against women or mine-workers who often work in extremely dangerous environments without appropriate measures to ensure that the rights of these workers are protected and respected. The sector also contributes to ill-treatment of indigenous people in communities where they have operations and in some cases, partner with the State to perpetuate such crimes.

In tackling these challenges; Influence Africa is partnering with the public and private sector to address these key issues and to help them mainstream the guiding principles on Human Rights, as a relevant tool for sustainable and competitive growth and development of Africa.

BHR14Human Rights

Worldwide interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) is on the rise. In the area of human rights, businesses are growing increasingly concerned about improving working conditions and mitigating impacts they might have on the community as a result of their operations. The goal of Influence Africa’s Business and Human Rights (BHR) programme in Africa is to encourage and support more companies operating in Africa to respect and promote human rights within their particular spheres of influence and scopes of due diligence. Influence Africa works closely with the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) and supports various national and international initiatives on Business and Human Rights.

Influence Africa promotes companies’ use of BHR assessment tools. These include practical self-assessments such as Human Rights Compliance Assessment (HRCA) and the Human Rights and Business Game. These tools have been developed to assist companies in translating human rights into practice.

Implementing good human rights standards in companies is a matter of investment and helps companies to identify cost reductions. The most significant opportunities available through actively implementing human rights are:

  • good reputation of company and products;
  • increased motivation and productivity of workers;
  • understanding of the society in which the company works;
  • social license to operate; good relations with community groups, NGOs, unions and other stakeholders;
  • effective risk identification and management;
  • attractive investment climate; and
  • contribution to corporate social responsibility and sustainable development.

Gender Mainstreaming

Influence Africa is aware of issues affecting women around the world. Gender mainstreaming is not merely addressing issues affecting women such as health, gender based-violence and unemployment; it is a process that requires institutional capacity to ensure that policy and decision-making on gender effectively contribute towards closing the existing gap between men and women.

Influence Africa is highly dedicated in assisting organisations with streamlining their business agendas to be more sensitive towards gender issues. Our contribution towards addressing gender mainstreaming is by assisting institutions with:

  • in-depth research;
  • project/programme development;
  • monitoring and evaluation tools;
  • creating platforms for stakeholder engagement such as workshops and conferences; and

We are creative in our approach towards tackling the topic of gender especially through our media creations such as film documentaries and knowledge materials that are easily accessible to a wide-range of audiences and stakeholders including policy makers, NGO’s, multi-lateral institutions, businesses and the general public.

Our work also focuses on sustainability reporting; community and stakeholder engagements; social assessments and local economic development. Visit our social responsibility page for more details on these core areas of expertise.

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