Humanitarian Advocacy can be simply defined as the action and process of supporting a cause to make other people’s lives better!
There is a reason to promote a culture of humanitarian advocacy for all businesses as they seek their own success. What do people mean to you? You being, the people hiring the people, and the people responsible for employee welfare and good corporate governance.
While we associate humanitarianism with world crisis, it really starts closer to home. This week, my focus is on those persons who are veterans of a different kind of war – Corporate injustice.
No one sets out in life to fight legal battles. If we did, we would all have a diploma in legal studies. Yet somehow if I polled ten persons in a room, most would have a story of something legal they were involved in. When we go out for employment, there are contracts for everything, and a lot people just sign on the dotted line, skimming through based on the level of trust and need for the position they were signing.
Some Human Resource personnel seem to think at the point of offer one should sign and not read. Exploiting the need for income in societies where greater demand for limited jobs is prevalent. Sometimes there is a question to be answered on something missing in the document, and a reassuring answer is normally sufficient or has to be accepted – based on the perception of trustworthiness .
Merriam-Webster online dictionary advises;
Humanitarian –“ a person who works to make other people’s lives better
Advocacy – the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal : the act or process of advocating something
National Insurance Benefit systems are compulsory in most Caribbean nations and some countries of the world. The minimum in most developing countries is health care coverage at some level funded by the individuals with a job or business. Do these benefits really give consideration to employees when an accident, injury or pregnancy at work happens? Indeed they will receive payment at the leisure of the issuing agency. Maybe it will be fast – a term relative to historical events.
Employers must sign-off forms on injury and workmen’s compensation benefits for injured persons. What happens when there is a legal battle or a cover-up on an unsafe environment, or maybe simple vindictive cruelty – a fight to prove power? You are entitled to a safe working environment. You are entitled to your benefits.
Occupational Safety and Health Agencies are there to investigate and help, but how independent are they? Can the laws adopted by countries to protect based on OSHA standards have any teeth, for disenfranchised workers? I believe they can, and at the very least a battle of public opinion helps.
This brings me to the question, who can be considered in need of humanitarian consideration? Do I know the story of the man who suddenly does not appear for work or the woman who must come out to work days or weeks after giving birth to save her job, or the person fired from work while on injury leave?
We still live in an age and a society where some topics are taboo. Remove that label please. Look at the people you work with, and those missing, listen, and become an advocate for what is just and fair. One voice alone will not reach many, share your voice with mines. Feel my heart beat!
How you cry from within, when the light must shine on your face outside.. I feel you, we feel you!
Next Humanitarian advocacy 2 -we look closer at injuries at work.
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