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UN Pledges Support Against Human Rights Violations In Nigeria

Participants during the dialogue

THE United Nations (UN) has promised to support the Federal Government and business entities in Nigeria in fights against human rights violations.


Ms Adwoa Kufor, Senior Human Rights Advisor to the UN in Nigeria said this during the National Dialogue on Tackling Human Rights Issues, on Tuesday in Abuja.

She underscored the need for governments and business operators to be more responsible and deliberate in tackling issues about human rights to achieve set goals.

Kufor said, “There are human rights violations everywhere, unfortunately not just in Nigeria and not just on our continent across the globe.

“Seeing human rights violations and abuses in this context, we are really looking at abuses by business operators and the need for responsible business conduct.

“Nigeria is one of the very few countries on the continent that has adopted a national action plan on business and human rights.

“We are here to discuss how we can best support governments and business operators to ensure their businesses are conducted responsibly, and that they do not violate human rights.

“Also, where there are human rights violations or abuses, there are remedies for victims.”

Mr Peter Makinde, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights, speaking at the event emphasised the need for business entities to uphold human rights.

The lawmaker cited the National Action Plan and the three pillars of the business and human rights law, saying part of the plan was the Business and Human Rights Law.

According to him, human rights is multifaceted and integral to the development of equitable society, adding that  by adhering to global standards, businesses can contribute to the protection of human rights and reap benefits of ethical conduct.

“Businesses play pivotal roles in promoting human rights in Nigeria, a responsibility that extends beyond mere compliance with legal standards to embodying principles of ethical conduct and social responsibility.

“In Nigeria, the constitution provides a legal framework that safeguards fundamental human rights and businesses are expected to align their operations within this framework.

“Moreover, the Nigerian government has developed a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, which operationalises the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

“This plan outlines specific roles and responsibilities for businesses aiming to mitigate and redress business-related human rights violations,” he said.

Mr Ahmed Munir, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Commerce, decried human rights violations in businesses to be most notable in payment of minimum wage and poor implementation of environmental protection policy.

According to him, human rights violations within the business space lead to corruption, warning that if not tackled early it can promote sharp practices.

“Human rights violations issues are relative to corruption and can pose more potent force to societal malady; this is why human rights should be respected in the business space,” Munir said. (NAN)

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