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Business and human rights

At KNCHR we believe that business enterprises have immense power to influence policies which may result into the violations of human rights. Even more common are violations that arise directly from business conduct and operations.  While states have the primary responsibility to promote, secure fulfilment of, respect, ensure respect of and protect human rights, business enterprises are required to respect those human rights recognized in international law as well as the national law of the countries within which they operate and which are within the limits of their operations and spheres influence. 

This obligation finds expression in our Constitution which states in Article 20 (1) that ‘the Bill of Rights applies to all and binds all State organs and persons; further in Article 260 it defines ‘person’ as including ‘a company, association or other body of persons whether incorporated or unincorporated’. Furthermore, Article 59 (2) (c) of the Constitution, requires the KNCHR to promote the protection and observance of human rights in public and private institutions providing the grounding of our work on business and human rights.

And drawing from the United Nations ‘protect, respect and remedy’ framework and the guiding principles for its implementation, the KNHCR sees its role as supporting both government and business to quicken this uptake of responsibilities as a way of enhancing realization of human rights. In this regard, the KNCHR provides training on business and human rights; and monitors the conduct of business and provides feedback to government and businesses.