By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
A Group on the platform of the National Business and Human Rights Roundtable (NBH2R) has commended the Nigerian Government for approving the National Action Plan on Human Rights.
Some of the rights contained in the National Action Plan on Human Rights in Nigeria include civil and political rights; Economic, cultural, and social Rights; Rights to Peace and Protected Environments; Rights to Business and Human Rights; Rights of Women and Children; Rights of Persons with Disabilities among others
The NBH2R believes that the approved Action Plan effectively operationalize the government’s Duty to Protect in the context of business and how businesses operationalize the Duty to Respect and pertinently, how to ensure Access to Remedy for individuals or communities adversely affected by business operations in Nigeria, especially in the mining/minerals sector.
According to them “We are particularly elated with the provisions on Business and Human Rights which give effect to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) Framework Pillars on how government and businesses are to protect and respect human rights, including what mechanisms are to be put in place to reduce, mitigate and redress business-related violations”
“We are confident this step taken by the Federal Government will significantly mitigate some of the challenges of human rights violations currently experienced within the business sector and ensure business in Nigeria is conducted within globally acceptable standards of respect for human rights”
They further added that they recognized the efforts that had gone into making this Action Plan which is particularly important as Nigeria seeks to attract foreign investments and increase economic growth while ensuring that human rights are not violated.
“We reckon that this Action Plan further strengthens the government’s Executive Order 1 on Ease of Doing Business in the country signed in the year 2017.
They further commended the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for the effective collaboration in the development of the Action Plan that had considered input from the government, civil society organizations, and other critical stakeholders and urged the Commission to give effect to this document by ensuring effective implementation of the National Action Plan. NBH2R will continue to monitor and advocate for businesses to respect human rights in their operations in Nigeria.
NBH2R also commended the Steering Committee Members notably the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Convention on Business Integrity (CBI), CSR-in-Action, EarthNews Nigeria, Accountability Lab, Paradigm Initiative and the Secretariat for the NBH2R (Global Rights).
“The work has just started. With the approval of the NAP, a road map for the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the process should immediately follow to ensure that infractions are documented and resolved, when and where it occur”’ they said