SiLNoRF Conducts Two-Day Training on Business, Human Rights & Peace

By Abu Bakarr Munu, Communication Officer at SiLNoRF

A comprehensive two-day training program was commenced by the Sierra Leone Network on the Right to Food (SiLNoRF), in collaboration with SWEDWatch. The training was aimed at equipping community participants with essential knowledge in business, human rights, and peace. The event took place on Wednesday at the Mankind Activity for Development Accreditation Movement (MADAM) Conference Hall in Makeni.

The training session was graced by esteemed members from the upper management of SWEDWatch, a Swedish-based human rights organization. Jessica Johansson, holding the positions of Program Officer and Project Manager, along with Madeleine Goni Stoctenberg, Head of Resources (Finance and Human Resources) at SWEDWatch, were present to witness the initiative. This collaborative project, executed by SiLNoRF in Sierra Leone and Green Advocates in Liberia, is geared towards fostering sustainable peace across the West African sub-region.

The program’s primary objective revolves around bolstering the capacity of community participants, with a special emphasis on women, a vulnerable group in society. The training encompasses vital aspects of business, human rights, peace, and the environment. Attendees from communities across the nation, particularly those impacted by the activities of multinational mining and agro-based companies, actively participated.

The training not only served as a pivotal endeavor by SWEDWatch to engage with Sierra Leone in matters concerning business, human rights, peace, and the environment but also served as a prelude to the formulation of the National Action Plan (NAP) addressing those areas, scheduled for launch in 2024.

Lansana H. Sowa, Head of Programs at SiLNoRF, extended a warm welcome to the participants and provided insights into the training’s rationale. He highlighted the deliberate focus on women due to their heightened vulnerability within these communities.

Sowa delved into an explanation of human rights, elaborating on the significance of the 2007 Gender Laws, which encompass the Customary and Divorce Act, the Devolution of Estate Act, and the Domestic Violence Act. He drew connections and distinctions between human rights and women’s rights, shedding light on these critical nuances.

Jessica Johansson, representing SWEDWatch, emphasized that the training’s essence lies in exploring the intersection between business and human rights. The goal is to shed light on the violations and abuses of these rights within the operations of multinational corporations. Johansson emphasized that raising awareness and advocating on behalf of affected communities is of paramount importance in addressing these issues.

Abass J. Kamara, Deputy National Coordinator (DNC) of SiLNoRF, echoed the training’s significance and elucidated the array of human rights instruments that safeguard these fundamental rights.

As this training initiative gained momentum, it was anticipated that participants will emerge equipped with a deeper understanding of the intricacies surrounding business, human rights, and peace, poised to advocate for positive change in their respective communities.


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