Promotion of human rights awareness in business project launched

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    By Julius K. Satsi, GNA

    Accra, Aug. 29, GNA –
    A project to raise awareness among university students and business
    professionals about the rights and obligations employers owe their employees
    under international and local human right laws has been launched.

    The project titled
    ‘Promoting Human Rights Awareness in Business’ was launched at the Ghana
    Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), where the business
    curriculum would be updated to inculcate human right in business studies.

    The two-year
    project, which spans June 2018 to May 2020, is being sponsored by the State of
    the Netherlands with GIMPA and the Grotius Centre for International Legal
    Studies in Netherlands being partners in the implementation.

    Speaking at the
    launch of the project, Ms Daphne Lariba Nabila, the Executive Director of the
    Legal Resources Centre said although Ghana had signed and ratified most
    international human rights treaties and conventions, not a single industry
    could be immune to human rights abuses.

    She said Ghana is
    signatory to the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR,
    1996), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
    (ICESCR, 1996), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)”.

    Ms Nabila said as a
    member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Ghana had ratified 46
    ILO Conventions including Conventions on the abolition of forced labour, the
    hours of work and minimum wage fixing.

    She said her Centre
    had observed that most workers were unaware of the existing laws that safeguard
    their fundamental human rights in the workplace because most educational
    institutions in the country did not have comprehensive and well-integrated
    human rights in business curricula to prepare students for the workforce.

    She said the project
    would assist in reviewing six existing undergraduate courses and one
    post-graduate, and also incorporate Human Rights in Business modules starting
    from the 2018/2019 academic year.

    Ms Nabila said the
    project would also create three short courses on Human Right in Business to be
    implemented for the 2018/2019 academic year as well as a seminar on Human Right
    in Business, organised during the same academic year.

    In his address, Mr
    Ron Striker, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana said the country was committed
    to ensuring that human rights were upheld in all facets of life, including the
    corporate world.

    He said the
    Netherlands was supporting the project because the protection of human rights
    had been very keen on the country’s foreign policy, adding that, strengthening
    the rule of law in business development was very necessary.

    Professor Martin Morgan
    Tuuli, the Dean of Business School at GIMPA, said the school was committed to
    fulfilling its obligation towards the overall achievement of the project
    objectives.

    Justice Dennis
    Dominic Adjei, a Justice of the Court of Appeal, said there was the need for
    every citizen to play their role as prescribed by the law.

    He said the
    understanding and application of the duties and obligations, either as
    employers or employees, must be inculcated in the citizenry to ensure that law
    and order were maintained, in order to promote fairness.

    Justice Adjei said a
    number of laws on human rights had been codified in the 1992 constitution of
    the Republic, such as economic rights, children’s rights, right of disabilities
    and many others, spelled out in the Labour Act.

    He called on
    students, faculty and stakeholders to ensure that the project was sustained
    even after the stipulated duration of two years.

    Prof Philip Ebow
    Bondzi-Simpson, the Rector of GIMPA, commended the LRC, the Business School at
    GIMPA, the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies in the Netherlands
    and the Netherlands Embassy for ensuring the commencement of the project,
    saying that, the Institute was committed to it.

    He said before the
    project would go mainstream after the pilot at the Institute, the stakeholders
    must consider the whole realm of engagement of children in business practices.

    He said the
    connection between environment and business must also be looked at because some
    business practices were detrimental to society, rendering them non-sustainable
    business practices.

    Prof Bondzi-Simpson
    said the suitability of space and facilities for all manner of people in the
    business operations must be looked at, as well as fora for redress in a
    corporate setting.

    GNA

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