By Pretty Chavango.

Harare. (News Of The South) – The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) is hosting its inaugural capacity strengthening session for Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) legal officers which starts today Wednesday to August 28 2015 at the Meikles hotel in the capital.

The capacity building session which is being held in line with the ZELA and ZHRC Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) terms of reference on activities of mutual benefit in furthering the promotion of good governance, rule of law and democracy in Zimbabwe will focus on investigation, and redress of violations on environmental, socio-economic and cultural rights in mining communities.

The capacity of the ZHRC and its staff is set to be enhanced in fulfilling its constitutional mandate of protecting, promoting and enforcing human rights in general and environmental, socio-economic and cultural rights in particular. Eight (8) Officers from the Complaints Handling and Investigations Unit will be trained as well as one (1) from Monitoring and Inspection Unit, and three (3) from the Education, Promotion and Research Unit.

Nyaradzo Mutonhori ZELA’s project officer responsible for the project says the capacity Strengthening session will explore constraints and opportunities presented by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights from the perspective of the ZHRC as a National Human Rights Institution, mining companies and local communities.

“The training which is being hosted in partnership the Danish Institute for Human rights with support from the Finish Embassy shall also have communities from mining arrears coming through to share their lived realities as well as have mining companies share their work and prospects of working on promoting the rights of communities in mining arrears.”

“Through this training ZELA hopes to strengthen the effectiveness of the existing ZHRC complaints handling mechanism for Environmental, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as well as usher sustainable partnerships for community rights protection and map a realistic way forward on implementation of UNGPs in the mining sector” , said Mutonhori .

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