Human rights key to industrial harmony — NHRC

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Mr Tony  Ojukwu,Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission  (NHRC) on Sunday said that human rights was  key to industrial harmony.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mrs Fatimah Agwai- Mohammed Deputy Director,  Public Affairs of the commission in commemoration of the 2021 International Workers Day (IWD) celebrated every May 1.

Ojukwu reiterated the commission’s   commitment to ensure that human rights principles are mainstreamed into labour practices in various workplaces and amongst labour unions across Nigeria.

“ This is to ensure  sustainable industrial harmony, improved productivity and efficient service delivery.

“ Mainstreaming human rights in the operations of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as in the private sector holds the key to job satisfaction and increased productivity,” Ojukwu said.

According to Ojukwu,  it is in this connection that the commission has continued to train and retrain  law enforcement personnel, labour force in the MDAs and workers in the private sector.

“This is for them to understand and appreciate the need to deploy and mainstream human rights principles and norms while carrying out their official duties.

“ On the other hand, the Nigerian workers both in the public and private sector should  not renege on their own responsibility of delivering quality and efficient services to justify the trust and confidence reposed in them by their employers.

“Demand for improvement in the welfare packages of the workforce is a legitimate human response in the light of current challenges facing the workforce,” he  said.

He added that where resources were not immediately available to address such demands, it behoved on workers to show understanding while pushing for their demands.

Ojukwu enjoined the government and employers of labour to always try to pay just wages that could  address the basic needs of workers for industrial peace and harmony.

He commiserated with  families of those who lost their relations in the line of duty as a result of hazards associated with their occupation or from natural causes.

“We must as a matter of necessity remember them whenever we mark Worker’s Day, given their sacrifices and contributions to nation building.

“ The current COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in the death of many people across the globe seriously affected workers especially health workers including Doctors and Nurses.

“This calls for comprehensive life insurance policies for Nigerian workers to mitigate the burden of such casualties on any affected family,” Ojukwu added.