August 10, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRC-SL) last Thursday hosted an interactive meeting with officials from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on issues related to business and human rights.
In her welcome address, the commission’s Vice Chairperson, Mrs. Daphne Olu Williams reminded her audience about the mandate of the commission, which is the protection and promotion of human rights of every citizen in the country.
She noted that with a human rights friendly environment and businesses respecting human rights, there would be development, employment and peace.
Also, the HRC-SL executive secretary stated that the commission had received persistent complaints from victims of businesses, thus they reason for the engagement.
“The commission began consulting with relevant authorities, undertaking capacity building and eventually doing public inquiry on the Bumbuna saga,” she stated.
The interaction looks at the general principles to guide and inform the development of a monitoring manual which would enable the commission to train stakeholders to monitor issues related to business and human rights. The manual will ultimately help improve human rights regimes in the country, which is itself is a prerequisite for peace consolidation and economic development.
However, the guiding principles on Business and Human Rights, which seek to implement human rights obligations to protect, respect and remedy, has been hailed as a very useful framework of enhancing protection of human rights by business enterprises.