General

Nigerian Government, UN To Prioritise Human Rights Interventions

The Nigerian Government has commenced a new collaboration with the United Nations systems in Nigeria to prioritise interventions in the area of human rights in the country.

 

At a dialogue that opened in Abuja on Tuesday, the two parties commenced talks on how to ensure better protection of rights, as well as the implementation of conventions and laws on human rights to which Nigeria is a signatory.

 

The United Nations and its partners also declared their intention to support the Nigerian government by proffering solutions to some gaps in some human rights laws in Nigeria.

 

Speaking during the dialogue in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the UN Country Representatives, Edward Kallon, represented at the event by Peter Hopkins said the UN was ready to assist the Nigerian government in addressing the gaps in a timely fashion.

 

’’like other countries around the world, Nigeria faces a mirage of human rights challenges as the country strive to acknowledge the rights of all human beings with strong and effective national protection systems, the UN instruments mechanism as well as the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 set the agenda of most of our work’’ he said.

 

He added that the call to action for human rights proclaimed in February 2020 by the UN Secretary-General underpins the centrality of human rights to the UN work and global peace.

 

’’To effectively address protracted human rights crisis around the world, the call to action must move beyond words and be expeditiously implemented. This initiative is a step towards realizing the dreams captured in a call to action for human rights here in Nigeria’’ he echoed.

 

Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Pauline Tallen said her Ministry was working with all sectors to mitigate the effects of unsustainable patterns of development that continue to cause gender inequalities whereby, women and girls are often affected by political, economic, social and environmental stress.

 

’’Our activities are hinged on attaining the next level of socio-economic prosperity as defined in the ninth priority project of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development ’’ she said.

 

She also said that her Ministry will continue to play the coordinating role as national machinery for the advancement and promotion of the rights and well-being of women, children and other vulnerable populations, including women and children living with disabilities.

 

’’This is why we are driving the advocacy for the domestication of the Birth Rights Act of 2015 and the Child Rights Act of 2002 across the country especially in states that are yet to domesticate it’’ the Minister added.

 

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission in Nigeria, Tony Ojukwu, at the event said that it was important for stakeholders to reflect deeply on the human rights situation in Nigeria with a view to drawing up a priority plan that could effectively engage the human rights challenges of the country.

 

He also noted that as necessary stakeholders, the UN, MDAs and CSOs should be very interested in a priority plan that could result from a dialogue like this.

 

’’As you may be aware, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, Austria in 1993 requested that each State considers the desirability of drawing up a national action plan identifying steps whereby the State would improve the protection and promotion of human rights’’

 

‘’On our own part, the Commission has developed a strategic work plan to effectively and successfully discharge its mandate for promotion and protection of human rights of Nigerians. It has established offices across all 36 states to increase access to Nigerians’’ he echoed.

 

The Chief Human Rights Officer in Nigeria also commended the UN country team for the initiative, saying that this kind of dialogue, though long overdue, could not have come at a better time.

Source: Voice of Nigeria