The Ministry of Justice in Nigeria says it will set up a Gender-Based Violence Management Committee to address the rising incidence of rape and sexual assault in the country.
Reports of rape cases in the country have increased recently, and some victims have been murdered.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Justice on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Umar Gwandu, the committee would include functional and skilled officers from the Ministries of Justice, Health and Women Affairs.
Others were; National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, the Nigerian Legal Aid Council and others.
The committee would proffer a
synchronized approach to address all forms of violence against women and
children in the Country, reviewing all the existing laws with a view to
proposing to the National Assembly necessary legislative changes to ensure that
offences of rape and child defilement are dealt with in accordance with international best practices.
The Committee is also expected to provide a comprehensive and appropriate support services to ensure that victims and survivors of sexual offences are not subjected stigmatization.
The committee will also aid the establishment of a Referral Centre to be domiciled in the Ministry of Justice Headquarters to respond to immediate gender based violence related issues and provide rapid and comprehensive response through prosecution of all forms of violence against women and children.
The committee is also
mandated to facilitate speedy processing of stalled and pending cases of rape
defilement that got delayed due to closure of courts and government
Institutions during the COVID -19 lockdown.
’’In driving these processes, the Ministry of Justice will bring together Attorneys General from the 36 states in Nigeria to ensure effective collaborative support to stem the growing tide of rape and sexual assault in the country’’ the statement read.
Source: Voice of Nigeria