The directorate of Business and Human Rights and Labor Relations has commenced a national training for Managers of Companies and other Umbrella Organisations working with Companies on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other labor-related laws.
During the training for the northern region in Makeni on 27th and 28th May 2022, the Vice-Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) Victor I. Lansana Esq. has called on corporate entities ‘to embrace human rights principles in their operations.’ He informed the company managers that HRCSL has done a series of monitoring in corporate entities and has found out that both employers and employees largely lack knowledge of business and human rights principles in employment and its benefits.
The Vice-Chairperson added that employees would do their work in a peaceful atmosphere, increase productivity, prevent strike actions and destruction of company properties, and maintain mutual relationships with stakeholders in their operational communities if they practice basic human rights principles in their day to day operations. He encouraged them to comply with labor laws in the country and put policies in place that can prevent sexual-related offenses in their offices.
Director of Business and Human Rights and Labor Relations, HRCSL, Abdulai Yollah Bangura lectured the participants on the United Nations Guiding Principles on business and human rights; a document that speaks on protecting, respecting, and remedying human rights concerns in government and corporate entities. The document defines concrete and actionable steps for corporate entities to meet their respective duties and responsibilities so that human rights abuses will be prevented.
Senior Human Rights Officer in the Business and Human Rights Directorate, HRCSL, Moses Massaquoi highlighted poor communication, no proper employment policy, and refusal of companies to maintain good relationships with the communities as some of the causes of conflicts in corporate entities.
Participants described the training as an eye-opener, stating that they did not only benefit from the use of human rights principles to maintain peace and get maximum yield but also changed their perception of seeing human rights as a western culture to accepting human rights principles as entitlements.