The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed concern over the low report of human rights abuse cases in the mining sector. According to a statement released by the commission, there has been an increase in reports of human rights violations in other sectors but not in mining.
The NHRC lamented that despite efforts by stakeholders such as Women in Mining Nigeria (WIMIN) and other organisations to tackle child labour and gender-based violence in the sector, reports of human rights abuses remain low. The commission also noted that it is trying to work out modalities to ensure that everyone has access to justice and fair treatment.
Reports Of Human Rights Violations On The Rise
Data from the Responsible Mining Index (RMI) 2020 shows that reports of human rights violations have increased significantly across different sectors. However, this is not the case for the mining sector where reports remain low despite its potential for exploitation. This is concerning as it means that vulnerable people are at risk of being exploited without any form of protection or recourse.
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) were adopted 10 years ago with the aim of ensuring respect and remedy for human rights in business activities. Despite this, data from RMI 2020 shows that large mining companies are still failing to meet these standards when it comes to protecting vulnerable people from exploitation.
Stakeholders Working To Tackle Exploitation In The Mining Sector
In order to address this issue, stakeholders such as WIMIN have been brainstorming ways to tackle child labour and gender-based violence in the sector. Adigun who lamented low report of human rights abuse in the mining sector said “We are now trying to workout modalities by which WIMIN can be able to bring about a change”. He added that they will continue working with other stakeholders such as government agencies and civil society organisations to ensure that everyone has access to justice and fair treatment regardless of their social status or economic background.
The National Human Rights Commission also launched a toll free number 08006472428 for citizens who wish to lodge complaints about human rights violation. This is part of their effort towards ensuring that everybody has a fair chance at stating their case without fear or intimidation.
It is clear that more needs to be done if we are going to protect vulnerable people from exploitation in the mining sector. Stakeholders must continue working together towards finding solutions while citizens should take advantage of available resources such as NHRC’s toll free number if they ever find themselves victims of human right abuses or violations.