The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tuesday, organised a two-day training for Regulatory Agencies to Remedy Business-Related Human Rights Abuses.
According to the Executive Secretary NHRC Chief Tony Ojukwu SAN, that the Commission is not targeting law enforcement or security agencies for a training on human rights but is turning its attention to the business sector.
“Business activities impact the lives of people in ways that are designed to be positive. Apart from the provision of goods and services, they open up investment and employment opportunities which lead to economic development of communities and the State. While businesses have an impact on how we live our lives, human rights are basic rights and freedoms that protect all persons, based on the principles of dignity, fairness, equality and respect. Both are necessary for sustainable development, and none should be sacrificed while promoting the other. Beneficial as businesses may be, they sometimes harm people, communities and the environment. That is why there is need for regulation of practices in the different business sectors through the establishment of regulatory agencies.”
This he said, is a confirmation that human rights affect every facet of life, and that one cannot fully talk about promoting rights in some areas while ignoring other areas. “Human rights are truly inter-related and inter-dependent. The Commission, In trying to ensure that its broad mandate is adequately covered, identified 17 thematic areas of focus to guide programming and interventions. One of these areas of focus is Business and Human Rights and it is for this reason that we are gathered here today.
“The training today is designed to build the capacity of agencies that regulate business activities, to offer redress when human rights abuses and violations occur from such business activities. Promotion and protection of human rights is not a job for the National Human Commission alone, but for all persons providing one service or the other which impacts the lives of people.”
Similarly, the Independent Investigation Panel on Human Rights Violations by the defunct SARS and other units of the Nigerian Police (IIP-SARS) presented its report to the National Human Rights Commission after the payment of N438 million to 100 victims in the last 10 months.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu (SAN) who received the report on behalf of the Chairperson of the Governing Council of the Commission, Dr. Salamatu Suleiman, noted that Justice Galadima-led panel has dedicated the last two years hearing over 200 petitions on human rights violations.
According to the Chief Human Rights Officer in Nigeria, “Today, we are finally closing a chapter in the work of the panel but opening a new one for the Commission and all government institutions that will be charged with the implementation of the report”.