An International Non-Governmental Organization (Global Right), organized a Two Day National Business and Human Rights Roundtable Media Training for Media Practitioners (May 20th and May 21st). A welcome address was delivered by the Executive Director of Global Rights Nigeria (Abiodun Baiyewu), where she emphasized that the relationship between Civil Society and the Media is on the assumption. She further stated that, there is so much interaction between Business and Human RIGHTs that we need not ignore. How much has commercial development affects business concerns and the Nigerian populace. She asked the question; How much more can be done for people that do business and the rights of the populace? We should be thinking CSOs and; how do we hold Government accountable, get Civil Society amplified?
Then, a session on Overview Of The Basics Of Human Rights: Concept, Laws And Policies facilitated by Aderonke Ige Esq (Global Rights Programme Manager). Where she reiterated that Human RIGHTs are those basic entitlement to which all humans are entitled. Human Rights aim to promote the existence and dignity of the human person. Human Rights is a “Common language to Humanity “. She talked about the Generations of Rights, Human Rights in the Context of Business, the Relevant Legal Instruments on Human RIGHTs: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The UN Charter that covers some Human Rights provisions. External: Environmental Considerations and Rights of Host Communities.
Another session on Overview Of The Guiding
Principles On Business And Human Rights was facilitated by Jummai Pam (Global Rights Programme
Assistant). Where she mentioned The United Nations Three Pillars Guiding
1. State Duty To Protect Human Rights; 1st Pillar 2. Corporate Responsibility To Respect; 2nd Pillar 3. Access To Remedy; 3rd Pillar.
She goes to emphasize on the Effectiveness
criteria for non-judicial grievances mechanism; Legitimate, Accessible,
Predictable, Equitable, Transparent etc..
In conclusion, development of a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights which will ensure that the Business Human Rights (BHR) issues or gaps are resolved.
After Lunch Break:
Mr. Gabriel. A. Pollyn (CSR-in-Action), facilitated a Session on Understanding The Nexus Between Businesses, Human Rights And Corporate Accountability. He postulated that what we have in Nigeria is Public Relations touch, not CSR. If Businesses can respect Human Rights enough, it will go a long way to enforce human rights in Nigeria. All the 2030 SDG Goals are all human rights, if every Government supports and understands human rights SDGs, it will enhance development. The way forward, Businesses should fully embrace the Guiding Principles and work with NAPs, where the framework exist. Deepen the practice of Human Rights Due Diligence and Learn from each other’s on ways to improve corporate accountability and be more responsible, where possible.
In closing the training session for Day One, Mrs. Susie Onwuka (Head, Lagos Office of
the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission-FCCPC); She facilitated
The Concept Of The Rights Of Employees And Consumers; Consumers are
general people that buy goods and services, Employees on the hand, are
individuals hired by employers to do specific jobs.
Employees Rights: An employee is entitled to a minimum wage for work done, a contract of engagement, entitled to sick leave, annual leave, maternity leave where applicable, safety and welfare, protected against discrimination. Consumer Right: It has been expanded to eight. Right to Satisfaction, safety, information, choose, representation, re-dress, education and health environment. Responsibilities of the Consumers; Right of awareness, to be alert of the quality of product /service, To think independently, To speak out, To ethical consumption, To share your experience, To protect your environment. Consumer Protection Council (CPC) is now Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC ).
The Day Two; The Executive Director, Global Right Nigeria (Abiodun Baiyewu), started the session by discussing on The Extractive Industry: Understanding The Tension Between Companies And Their Host Communities.
Protecting Host Community Rights: Reflections on host mining communities in Nigeria. The case of Ishiagu Community in Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
Major Issues: Communal tension, because of mining, Water get polluted, Lack of adequate compensation for surface rights, Lack of information on mining laws and the rights of host communities (Most community members understand mining in terms of compensation for lost and hold the view that it is the responsibility of Government), Low level of understanding on the dangers of mining, Companies operating in the communities arbitrarily destroy water.
In Conclusion, she emphasized; Clear need to raise-awareness: rights of host communities and Government obligation among communities, Government regulatory agencies, CSOs and mining companies and other relevant stakeholders.
As an immediate intervention measure, Global Rights is; Raising awareness among host communities. Facilitating dialogue between all stakeholders. Building the capacity of CSOs to demand for accountability and good governance in solid mineral mining.
Another critical Session was facilitated by Mr. Edmund Obilo on Understanding The Role Of Media In Human Rights Advocacy.
According to Mr. Obilo; Media is more of a craft than a profession. Craft is being Creative. Mr. Edmund Obilo, Started with Radio Nigeria, as a Broadcaster. He said, “POLITICS DRIVES THE ECONOMY, THE ECONOMY SUSTAINS THE POLITICS”.
Mr. Obilo’s NOTES FOR JOURNALISTS: What are the fundamentals that makes you gets SUPER-STORY. Interviews are crucial for Journalism. Journalism is the best profession in the World. REFINE yourself first as a Journalist, always improve on yourself. As a Journalist, you should have the power of PROJECTION.
THE MOST POWERFULS ON MEDIA ARE THE “EDITORS”. “YOU CANNOT BE A SUPER-HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNALIST WITHOUT FINANCIAL RESOURCES”.
MEDIA IS AN ARM OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS (CSOs). He also gave a detailed insight on the Press Law in Nigeria.
In Conclusion: He said,the press protects citizens against the abuse of their legal rights. These rights include right to the dignity of human person, right to personal liberty, right to fair hearing, right to private and family life, right to life, right to freedom of thought and so on!
After Lunch Break:
A session on Principles for Investigative Journalism facilitated by Dayo Aiyetan (Executive Director, International Centre For Investigative Reporting-ICIR).
He started the session with an Introduction To Investigative Journalism. He gave a quote “JOURNALISTS ARE LIKE PROFESSORS”. Put simply, Investigative Journalism is any reporting that is in the public interest. “ANY GOOD JOURNALISM IS INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM”. ..ICIR.
JOURNALISM is about the 5 W’s; Who, What, Where, When and Why. Investigative Journalism is about the “HOW”. He also talked about the essential elements of investigative journalism and qualities of a great investigative reporter. He concluded the session by saying; note: journalism is not only negative.
The final session for Day Two was also facilitated by Mr. Dayo Aiyetan (Executive Director, ICIR), he discussed on the Use Of The Freedom Of Information Act For Journalists.
He said, Journalists are the ones who have the Constitutional Rights to hold Government accountable and you cannot hold Government accountable, if you do not have information.
Why Freedom Of Information Act? It makes for open and transparent Government.
He also emphasizes on the essential’s elements of freedom of information act:
As a Journalist, you have a Right to any information held by any public institution funded by Government resources (Section 2).
The FOI Law does not discriminate against Foreigners.
You are not required to give any reasons for asking for the information (Section 1(2)).
Why Research? Helps you narrow down to specific information you need for your story.
The training came to an end and Certificates of participation were issued to Media Practitioners that participated. It was a beautiful experience for global rights Nigeria and Media Practitioners.