This training came after the Commission had engaged mining companies and businesses on their compliance to the guiding principles on business and human rights.
Speaking during the training, Commissioner Rashid Dumbuya of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone said the training was to enhance both the companies and the landowning communities on their different roles towards business and human rights. He cautioned the companies that when they respect the rights of workers, the environment and the communities they operate; it will help for the growth of their businesses.
He continued that it was part of the work of HRCSL to address Business and Human Rights issues in the country using the guiding document known as the guidelines for monitoring business and human rights in Sierra Leone. This guideline was developed in partnership with the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Danish Institute for Human Rights to provide a clear and consistent roadmap for monitoring the operations of business enterprises in Sierra Leone in line with its statutory mandate.
The guidelines lays emphasis on the ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework’ of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights standards to which Sierra Leone is a party, as well as domestic policies and laws relevant to operations of businesses in the country.
In his own statement, AIG Kembe, Head of Corporate Affairs of the Sierra Leone Police spoke about the importance of the training as he said it would let both the companies and landowners understand themselves. He also said it would let the companies know about employment issues and conditions of service, and on the other hand, provide an insight for the SLP on how they can deal with threat issues.
The Deputy Chairman Bombali District Council, John Dito Kamara emphasized the need for companies to involve landowners in negotiations of land lease for mining or agriculture. He said the practice of companies entering in to communities to just mine without the knowledge of the landowners should be discouraged. He also called on HRCSL to replicate such trainings in the various chiefdoms.
Statements were also made by the Bombali Civil Society Chairman, the Senior District Officer and the Ministry of Labour.