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National Binding Treaty Indaba takes place this week

- Alternative Information and Development Centre

CALS is co-hosting this year's national indaba on the UN binding treaty on business and human rights at the Parktonian on 27 and 28 July

The Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) together with the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) and Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) invites you to a two-day indaba which will focus on the UN Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights in Johannesburg on 27 and 28 July 2022.

The Indaba will bring together activists, academics and trade unionists working towards dismantling corporate power in Southern Africa to unpack the importance of a legally binding mechanism on business and human rights. 

In June 2014, the UN Human Rights Council adopted resolution 26/9 to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises. The resolution was put forward by Ecuador and South Africa and adopted by a recorded vote of 20 to 14, with 13 abstentions. Out of 20 countries that voted in support, 10 were African countries, an indicator that the continent is ready to curb corporate impunity and hold corporations accountable. 

At the Indaba, delegates from communities that face human rights violations by corporations on a daily basis will share their lived experiences and what remedial action have they employed to challenge corporate power as the vast majority of these violations are said to go unpunished. According to the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, impunity regarding human rights abuses by companies is increasing.

Evidence shows that communities seeking to protect their human rights from the actions of corporations face growing levels of violence and intimidation. Two years ago a KwaZulu-Natal anti-mining activist, Fikile Ntshangase was shot dead by four gunmen in her home. At the time, maNtshangase was part of a group taking legal action against the expansion of the Somkhele coal mine in her area. Sadly no one has been held responsible for her murder. There are similar cases that are reported throughout the globe. The UN Binding Treaty is to pave the way for justice for victims like maNtshangase and to hold companies like Tendele Coal Mining Ltd which may have been directly or indirectly behind her death to account.

Human rights lawyers who are fighting on behalf of communities through legal advocacy will also share some of the legal barriers that currently exist in the Southern African region. 

The media is an important resource in the fight for the advancement of human rights as they assist in exposing companies that do not comply with human rights laws. In some countries, the media becomes the voice of human rights defenders who are intimidated or persecuted for speaking truth to power. 

We therefore look forward to your attendance. 

Event details:

Venue: Hotel Parktonian, Braamfontein

Time: 10 AM - 5 PM

Date: 27 - 28 July 2022

For more information or to RSVP kindly contact: