By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Mr Tony Ojukwu SAN has said that the Commission has been able to extract the commitment of key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAS) of the federal government on the imperatives of protection of rights of miners and other workers in the extractive industries.
Ojukwu made the disclosure as the keynote speaker during a roundtable organised by the Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment LITE Africa in collaboration with the Geneva Centre for Defence and Security Governance where issues of right of workers in the extractive industries was debated and promoted by stakeholders.
The Commission, he said, has been in the vanguard of championing the protection of right of workers who have spent a greater part of the lives in the extractive industries and have provided the enabling legal framework for the protection of these workers rights.
The workshop which attracted other international development partners had centred on the implementation of the voluntary principles in human right instruments signed by national government at the international fora on human rights and the commitment of their implementation in all key government ministries and departments.
These human right instruments are intended at aimed at strengthening the commitment of government staff in key ministries and agencies to the implementation of these human right issues
He informed that the National Human Rights Commission had visited key government ministries and agencies in the extractive industries and they are committed to the implementation of these principles in the activities
Some of the government ministries that gave assurance of their commitment to the implementation of these policies and laws in the activities include the Federal Ministries of Mines and Steel Development, Justice, Interior, Trade and Investment and Foreign Affairs among others.
At the event, a top official of LITE Africa Austin Bisina said that the voluntary principles are a set of polices that supports companies especially those involved in extraction of minerals in complex environment to manage the risks associated with their operations.
The highpoint of the engagement was the expression of goodwill messages to the organizers by the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs of Nigeria as well as the Embassy of Switzerland in Nigeria and other notable civil society organizations.