In commemoration of the International Human Rights Day, the National Human Rights Commission, Ebonyi State Chapter, Thursday, called on all citizens to join hands to put an end to all forms of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, SGBV.
The Commission in collaboration with other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)/Community and Social Organizations (CSOs) made this call at a seminar organized at Pinnacle Hotels, Abakaliki, to mark the world’s Human Rights Day and the end of the 16 days of activism of campaign against violation of human rights.
Speaking on the year’s theme “Recover better – Stand Up for Human Rights,” the National Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu (Esq) said the selection was made considering the need to recover fully from COVID-19 pandemic and restore the situation by placing human rights at the center of major issues for a better and quick recovery.
The Secretary reiterated thus: “The theme is in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic and draws attention to the need to recover and build back better by ensuring Human Rights are at the centre of the recovery initiatives.
“As we stand up for human rights, we aim to encourage the Nigerian Public, our partners and the world Community to bolster transformative action and showcase practical and inspirational examples that can contribute to recovering better and fostering more resilient and just societies.
“We can only achieve our global goals if we are able to create equal opportunities for all.”
The Deputy Registrar in the Abakaliki High Court of Justice, Barrister Nnenna Emechebe, highlighted possible causes of Gender-Based Violence to include but not limited to cultural and traditional practices, religious beliefs, collapse of family support, poverty, impunity of perpetrators, the desire for power and control, gender inequality and power imbalance between men and women, amongst others.
Emechebe further made references to some implemented laws geared towards fighting against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and all forms of human rights abuse.
According to the Barrister, “In 2003, Nigeria adopted the Child Rights Act to domesticate the convention on the Rights of the Child.
“The Child Rights of 2003 expands the human rights bestowed to citizens in Nigeria’s 1999 constitution for Children.
“In its section 1, the best interest of a Child is to be of paramount consideration in all actions.
“Chapter IV of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria guarantees the fundamental rights of Citizens.”
Meanwhile, stating the way out, the Legal Practitioner also noted that Gender-based violence could occur at home, schools, in cities and rural areas, emergency situations, Online spaces and more, as the case may be, and further enjoined all hands to be on deck for SGBV to be eliminated;
“It is important to note that a way to reduce if not entirely eliminate SGBV will involve tripod arrangements or relationship between the Government, Development Agencies and CSOs/NGOs.
“To end Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, all hands must be on deck; we must move from rhetoric to actions.” She said
A participant, Pastor Ogwudu James of Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the State, called on the Commission and other CSOs/NGOs to iintensify sensitization targeting the people at the hinterlands noting their ignorance whereby the perpetrators show no remorse of their actions.