NHRC’s strategy on combating sexual and gender based violence
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is using a range of innovative measures to defend the rights of women and girls in its campaign to end sexual and gender based violence in Nigeria.
Working in partnership with The Spotlight Initiative, a UN programme to eliminate violence against women and girls in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the NHRC hosted a two-day workshop focused on collaboration to support survivors across the Nigerian states.
Executive Secretary of NHRC, Tony Ojukwu Esq., highlighted that COVID-19 measures restricting movement across the country meant that they had to come up with more creative solutions. Mr Ojukwu is also calling for an urgent review of the laws for prosecuting rape cases, saying that the standard for evidence is too stringent and this discourages survivors from seeking justice.
On our part, we will ensure that cases of all forms of sexual and gender based violence, especially rape, are no longer swept under the carpet. We will ensure accountability no matter whose ox is gored.
The NHRC has scaled up its use of technology, implementing cutting edge applications that survivors can use to report incidents directly to the NHRC and other stakeholders. They have also upgraded a dedicated call centre with specific toll free lines for survivors of sexual and gender based violence.
To promote awareness, the NHRC is supporting the production of ‘State of Human Rights’, a weekly television programme that covers key human rights issues and progress made so far in Nigeria, as well as increasing their presence on social media. View clips from ‘State of Human Rights’ on Twitter.
The NHRC’s strategy has been praised by the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, who expressed the government’s shared determination to urgently address the issue, particularly due to increasing reports of sexual and gender based violence during the pandemic.