This report provides a brief on the Economic & Socio-Cultural Rights training given to staff of the Commission.
The two-day training which took place in Abuja had the following objectives:
To enhance the capacity of Staff of National Human Rights Commission in their appreciation and understanding of Socio Economic Rights.
To enhance the capacity of Staff of the National Human Rights Commission in Investigating, Monitoring and Documentation of Socio Economic Rights violations.
To enhance the capacity of Staff of the National Human Rights Commission to effectively treat complaints arising from ESCR in a manner that will be beneficial to all within the parameters of the Constitution and International Charters.
The training sessions took place between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm daily. Approximately 27 participants were in attendance. Participants were provided hard copies of most of the training topics discussed and e-copies will be sent to them as well.
As part of routine training methodology, trainees were encouraged to discuss challenges they encounter in the course of carrying out their duties as part of the class exercise.
Sessions were vibrant and consisted of interactive discussions, question and answer sessions as well as power-point presentations.
The curriculum deployed took into consideration the wealth of experience trainees already have with a view to enhancing their knowledge of ESCR concepts vis-a-vis the current trend of governance in Nigeria in comparison to global best practices. Topics treated are indicated below:
History of Human Rights
–Civil and political rights
– Economic Rights
-Indivisibility and inter-dependence of Rights
The Legal Basis for ESC Rights
– National Laws
Types of ESC Rights
Characteristics of ESC Rights
– Progressive Realization
– Core Obligation ( Respect, Protect, and Fufill)
Content of ESC Rights
– Violations Approach
– Progressive Realization Approach
– Core Obligation Approach
– Budget Analysis Approach
Monitoring Violations of ESC Rights
– Human Rights Education
– Information Gathering & Analysis
– Solution building
Power-point presentations and a robust ESCR training module were used to impart knowledge to participants. The links to both documents are embedded in this report for your perusal.
CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED BY NHRC STAFF IN THE DISCHARGE OF DUTIES
Some of the difficulties participants mentioned included but might not be limited to the following:
Lack of adequate cooperation from MDAs
Inadequacy in Remedial measures
Concrete strategy in the effective discharge of NHRC mandate in national HR Regime
Though the training was a success, two-days might be considered inadequate for the full assimilation of concepts of the breadth and depth of those highlighted within the ESCR principles. Lawyers Alert therefore strongly recommends a follow-up three-day training session which will build on the foundation already laid by this first phase of training in order to consolidate on the milestone attained to this point. Lawyers Alert is willing to work with the management of the NHRC to come up with suitable dates for the proposed training.
NEXT STEPS LESSONS LEARNT
Rising from the training and flowing from the enhanced knowledge, Participants were of the view that the NHRC at present while doing very commendably, reacts to issues as they arise, as against a more proactive approach in instilling human rights culture in governance especially as regards economic rights.
It is the understanding that going forward, the NHRC would strive to engage in several issues from budgets, poverty reduction, MDGs, employment, housing, education, water, health etc, in order to factor in human rights concerns.
Often policies and various administrative directives from Governmental Agencies are issued and carried out without recourse to human rights standards and the NHRC would pursuant to its mandate endeavor to see to the realization of this.
Lawyers Alert thanks the Executive Secretary for the opportunity to work with the NHRC on this all important assignment and we look forward to working again with your vibrant staff.