The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu, on Wednesday, said women and girls have continued to experience various forms of violence despite documents and protocols that are in place to promote and protect their rights.
Ojukwu made this known at a press conference in Abuja, organised by the NHRC to kick start the 16-days of activism on violence against women and girls which commenced on November 25 to end on December 10, 2020.
The Executive Secretary said the menace of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cuts across class, geography, culture and that it is associated with negative impacts that impede progress in many areas of lives including Nigeria’s obligation to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ojukwu, who lamented that violence has subjected women to poverty, hunger, health-related issues, education, gender equality, peace, and security said, despite the already high incidence of cases of violations against women and girls, there was an alarming increase of violations that were recorded following the lockdown which was occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He revealed that between March and June 2020 the Commission received and treated 232 cases of various forms of violence against women and girls from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
The human rights boss disclosed that to show commitment to ending the menace, the Commission in collaboration with Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) launched a mobile app called UNSUB, a platform that connects survivors of SGBV to service providers.
He added that the platform provides information on access to a support system for survivors of SGBV and further urged everyone to leverage the use of technology in providing support for survivors.
The NHRC boss called on relevant stakeholders to effectively play their roles in preventing and eliminating violence against women noting that the theme of the 16 days of Activism; “Orange the world: fund, respond, prevent collect”, is a wake-up campaign for all.
Earlier, there was an awareness walk involving the Executive Secretary, the staff of the Commission and stakeholders to draw attention to the significance of the 16-day of activism.
Stakeholders at the event include representatives from Ministries Departments and Agencies MDAs and civil society organisations who pledged their support to fight the war against SGBV.
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