Embu County – Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) traders in Embu County have participated in a training program focused on business and human rights. The program, conducted by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) in collaboration with the Danish Institute of Business and Human Rights, aims to strengthen the ethical and sustainable practices of these businesses.
According to Kenya News Agency, a Trade official at KNCCI, the training is part of a countrywide initiative to educate SMEs about their role in incorporating human rights into their business strategies.
During the training session held at a hotel in Embu Town, Ms. Chelagat emphasized that businesses are integral parts of society and bear ethical responsibilities to uphold fundamental human rights. She stated that respecting human rights is not just about complying with regulations but is also a matter of conscience and the values that constitute responsible entrepreneurship.
Chelagat highlighted the importance of entrepreneurs understanding their corporate responsibility to respect human rights. This understanding is crucial for attracting markets and reducing the risk of costly litigations, regulatory fines, and reputation damage. She pointed out specific examples such as the need for farmers to be aware of the chemicals they use, ensuring that their products are safe for human consumption. Additionally, the treatment of workers was noted as a critical aspect of upholding human rights in business operations.
The training also addressed concerns that some Kenyan products have been blocked from entering the European Market due to high chemical residual levels. Ms. Chelagat stressed the necessity for SMEs and farmers to be educated about human rights standards to succeed in business.
Edward Munoru from the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA) also spoke on the significance of considering human rights within the business ecosystem. He emphasized the role of these considerations in promoting sustainable enterprises.