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HRCSL, LAB hang heads on alternative dispute resolution

Febrary 23, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) and the Legal Aid Board will today complete a three -day engagement on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the context of Business and Human Rights.

The purpose of the engagement,which was hosted at the Lancelot Campbell Memorial Hall in Freetown, was to connect the relevance of ADR to the application of business related conflicts and to enable the commission’s staff to effectively apply knowledge on the training for amicable resolution of business related conflicts during their monitoring operations.

Explaining the importance of the engagement, Vice Chairperson, Daphne Olu- Williams stated such training would help to prevent a repeat of ugly occurrences in business related areas.

She said handling of company related conflicts through mediation and /or conciliation also serves as a fulfillment of the non-judicial remediation mechanism as indicated in Pillar 3 of the United Nations Guiding Principles.

According to her the Edinburgh Declaration of 2010 identifies significant role for National Human Rights Institutions in addressing human rights, which among others include complaints handling and mediation and conciliation.

“It is therefore pertinent for such training for our staff in ADR to further equip them to meaningfully contribute to resolving conflicts arising out of business operations in the country,” she noted.

The Human Rights Commission has established a Business and Human Rights Unit to monitor compliance of relevant government institutions and businesses to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other relevant human rights standards, guidelines and principles applicable to the state and business.

According to the commission, the out of court means of settling dispute or ADP has most times been yielding positive result because of its win-win tendency.

The training was facilitated by the Director of Legal Aid Board, Fatmata Claire Carlton- Hanciles, who deals with human rights and alternative dispute resolution and Lawyer Francis Gabbidon on alternative dispute resolution forum, settling of community level problem and commercial driven dispute.