Avocats Sans Frontières France and its partners in Nigeria have hosted a one-day stakeholders roundtable meeting on Human Rights in Kaduna State.
In a statement made available to CITY LAWYER and signed by its Country Director, Angela Uwandu Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, the association stated that “The aim of the stakeholders’ roundtable meeting organized in collaboration with ASF France local partners, the Nigerian Bar Association and the Carmelite Prisoners Interest Organization was to sustain the momentum on key human rights discourse such as stakeholders’ mobilization for the implementation of the Anti-torture Act and development of recommendations for promotion of respect for human rights in Kaduna state.”
Below is the full text of the statement.
The importance of stakeholder engagement in achieving sustainable change cannot be overemphasized, based on this, Avocats Sans Frontières France and its partners in Nigeria hosted a one-day stakeholders roundtable meeting on Human Rights in Kaduna State on the 3rd of March 2022. The meeting was hosted under the European Union and the Agence Française de Développement funded “Strengthening the National Actors Capacities and Advocating for an End to Severe Human Rights Violations in Nigeria project” (SAFE), targeted at addressing issues of torture, extra-judicial killings and arbitrary detention in Nigeria.
The aim of the stakeholders’ roundtable meeting organized in collaboration with ASF France local partners, the Nigerian Bar Association and the Carmelite Prisoners Interest Organization was to sustain the momentum on key human rights discourse such as stakeholders’ mobilization for the implementation of the Anti-torture Act and development of recommendations for promotion of respect for human rights in Kaduna state.
Prior to the stakeholders’ roundtable meeting, a training on human rights was held on the project for security agencies in Kaduna state from the 28th of February 2022 to the 2nd of March 2022. The 3-day training which was aimed at bridging the knowledge gap of security agencies on Human Rights laws and standards had in attendance 30 security personnel drawn from the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Nigerian Army (NA), the Department of State Security (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Nigerian Corrections Service (NCS), Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Vigilante Service.
As for the roundtable, 25 participants drawn from various security agencies, key justice sector institutions and CSOs in Kaduna State such as the Police, Corrections, Army, Department of Security Services (DSS), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigerian Security Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Nigerian Air Force (NAF), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACON), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), and media organizations participated in the deliberations.
At the end of the roundtable, Mrs. Angela Uwandu Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, the Country Director of Avocats Sans Frontières France in Nigeria, commended stakeholders for key recommendations made and highlighted the need to actualize these recommendations through high level advocacy and partnerships. Some of the insightful recommendations made by stakeholders in response to the human rights issues raised are as follows:
Officers of Nigerian security agencies are urged to accord more humane treatment to detainees, as this falls within the ambit of their fundamental human rights.
Officers of Nigerian security agencies are urged to show respect for the rights of Nigerian citizens during the discharge of their duties.
Implementation of high-level advocacy to the hierarchy of relevant human rights stakeholders in Kaduna State, for implementation of the Anti-torture Act (2017) in the state.
Improvement of the modus operandi of the Nigerian Police Force as it relates to civilized conduct and humane treatment of Nigerian citizens.
Improvement in the efficiency levels of the Ministry of Justice in Kaduna State to boost the process of promoting and protecting the human rights of persons in the state.
Officers of Nigerian security agencies are urged to show decorum and respect in their dealings with legal counsels and arbitrators.
Journalists and other media professionals are urged to actively participate in the campaign against torture. Media professionals in the state are urged to leverage the wide array of tools available to them in amplifying the activities and outcomes of the SAFE project for wider reach and impact.
Relevant stakeholders in the Kaduna State criminal justice sector are urged to implement initiatives that improve the capacity of their personnel as it relates to the intersect between human rights & the discharge of their duties.
Avocats Sans Frontières France was called upon to engage in the development and dissemination of radio jingles and other media visibility tools that reinforce the zero-tolerance culture to torture in Nigeria.
Signed: Angela Uwandu Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, Country Director, ASF France Nigeria
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