CISLAC calls on government to protect Nigerians against human right abuses from businesses

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has called on government and all stakeholders involved in the protection of rights of host communities to take appropriate actions on cases of human rights abuses from both private and public companies.

The Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa, made this known in his welcome address during the ‘High-Level Forum On Sustainable Business and Human Rights Principles’ held in Abuja.

The ED commended the development partners; Global Rights and the Open Society Foundations who have supported the initiative and provided resources for undertaking the intervention in Nigeria, explaining that in a society like Nigeria where there are several businesses both local and international operating in different parts of the country, protection against human rights abuses within the Nigerian territory by businesses is very important.

“It is expedient for the Government to take appropriate steps to prevent, investigate, punish and redress such abuses through effective policies, legislation, regulations and adjudication.

“Relevant stakeholders have continued to demand appropriate actions and accountability from the government who is signatory to international Charters such as the United Nations Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) that seeks to promote implementation of Protection, Respect and Remedy for human rights abuses/ violations by transactional corporations and business enterprises.

“Undoubtedly, there has been advocacy, and ongoing efforts by the multi-stakeholder National Roundtable on Business and Human Rights as well as other relevant stakeholders, to ensure that Nigeria adopts a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, and more importantly, implement the NAP as a means to fulfill its duty under the national constitution and international obligations to promote and protect human rights.

“There is also a need, citizens across the length and breadth of the country especially, within host communities such as mining communities as well as oil producing communities who seem to be affected the most to rise up to against and demand that government protects their rights and deal decisively on issues of human rights violations arising from activities of businesses operating within Nigeria.”

The CISLAC boss also explained the essence of the project, “This project aims at stimulation and promotion of human rights agenda in Nigeria’s business sector through the collaborative platform of the standing National Roundtable on Business and Human Rights (NBH2R) and the promotion of a National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP) for Nigeria as a fundamental element in government agenda and business strategies.”

He also expressed hope of implementation of the document, “It is our hope and desire, that National Human Rights Commission who has also been part of this process receives this draft document and incorporates it into the already existing National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP) because its content/ provisions aim to compliment and further enrich the NAP.”

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, represented by Assistant Director, Legal, NHRC, Pwaolumdi Okoh, while commending CISLAC over implementation of National Action Plan, NAP, on Business and Human Rights spoke in a goodwill message pointed out that human rights due diligence will help businesses manage risk.

“The Commission appreciates the effort CISLAC has put in place by organizing various stakeholders’ consultative forum to look at the draft NAP on BHR and further develop a Cohesive Human Rights Due Diligence Document, a document aimed at causing the easy implementation of the NAP on BHR by all affected sectors and institutions,

“Human Rights Due Diligence, as we all know, is an ongoing risk management process that a reasonable and prudent company needs to follow in order to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how it addresses its adverse human rights impacts.

“It is a known fact that a risk based due diligence, as recommended in the UNGPs is increasingly accepted as a key tool to mitigate potential adverse human rights impacts of business operations”, he stated.

He also made it known that, “The Commission has in view of the import of this sector, added Business and Human Rights as one of the components of the general NAP on Human Rights for the next season.”

Also speaking was the Country Director, Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyewu, who was represented by the Programme Officer, Global Rights, Foluso Ibigbami, commended CISLAC on delivering accurately on the document.

Baiyewu also expressed sadness over the impoverishment suffered by most host communities allegedly caused by some corporate organizations operating in those host communities despite the resource they live with.

However, she called on CSOs to stop talk-shows while they sit and watch host communities left to suffer despite the presence of these companies, which she said are to unanimously rise and hold government accountable for the situation these communities find themselves in.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This News Site uses cookies to improve reading experience. We assume this is OK but if not, please do opt-out. Accept Read More