Vendredi, Septembre 21, 2018

Monitoring Human Rights in business activities: Cameroon’s National Human Rights Commission staff review techniques

YAOUNDE :Début de la 3ème session de formation en droit international des droits de l’homme

Bertoua 3 august 2018

Some twenty staff of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms (NCHRF) meet in Bertoua, East Region from 2 to 3 August 2018 to review methods and techniques of monitoring human rights in the activities of businesses in Cameroon. The staff came from the promotion and protection division at the Commission’s headquarters and from the Regional branches of the Adamawa, Far North, Littoral, North, North West, West and South Regions. They were joined by some local civil society partners working to protect the rights of indigenous communities affected by the activities of some companies and/or by the implementation of some infrastructural projects in the East Region.

The two days intensive training was organised by the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa. It focused specifically on techniques of monitoring human rights, and ensured that participants had a good knowledge of the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework and the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as the most comprehensive standards of practice for companies in the 21st century.

Speaking on behalf of the Chairperson of the Commission, the NCHRF’s Head of the Promotion and Protection Division Mr. NONETCHOUPO Gabriel said

Monitoring Human Rights in business activities: Cameroon’s National Human Rights Commission staff review techniques

activities of companies affected human rights in diverse ways. He acknowledged the important role the Commission has to play in ensuring that actions by companies that infringe on human rights are documented, reported and denounced. He thanked the Centre for providing the technical and financial support for the training and for providing follow-up and guidance to ensure that the commission comes out with a plan of action in this domain. On his part, Mr. Kiven Fonyuy who represented the Director of the Centre and served as facilitator for the training lauded the partnership between the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Organisation of La Francophonie, which made it possible for these activities to be realised. He emphasized that the Centre’s role is also to ensure that National Human Rights Institutions have the capacity to deliver in several human rights areas, thereby supporting rights holders to claim their rights. He also stressed the need for these institutions to be capable of ensuring accountability of duty bearers for human rights violations. “Although the UN framework and Guiding Principles are a set of moral values, they represent an international standard of behaviour for businesses across the world. Human Rights defenders should therefore feel free to make use of and refer to these documents in their work”, he added.

At the end of the workshop, participants prepared a draft action plan focusing on three strategic axes namely: Education and Sensitization; Monitoring and Reporting; Advocacy and support to victims of human rights violations. It will be finalised and adopted during a validation workshop to be organised in Yaoundé in the coming weeks.