In it’s efforts to eradicate Sexual and Gender Based Violence Against Women and Girls (SGBV) in the society, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called for coordinated action for safer society for women and girls in Oyo State and Nigeria at large.
The National Human Rights Commission, in it’s 16 days activities to commemorate the International Human Rights Day 2023 led a sensitisation campaign on need to end sexual and gender based violence against women and girls to Oyo State Police Command Headquarters, Eleyele Ibadan where they were well received by the State Commissioner of Police, CP Adebola Hamzat.
Speaking on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Barrister Tony Ojukwu, Oyo State Acting Coordinator of the Commission, Ms Akintayo Olamide charged officers of the Nigerian Police Force on need to take coordinated action towards ending sexual and gender based violence against women and girls in the country.
Ms Akintayo Olamide also commended the Police force for its efforts in combating crime in the State. She also charged them on need to step up their efforts in securing the state better.
She lamented the prevalent cases of SGBV been recorded in the State and stated that although a lot is already been done to curb the menace, but there is a need for stronger synergy and coordinated responses amongst all stakeholders to achieve the desired goal of a safe society for Women and Girls.
While speaking on the importance of the visit, Akintayo maintained that Nigerian Police being the leading law enforcement agency in the country and a major key player, there is need for us to come here and synergies to achieve our set goals on safe society for women and girls.
Akintayo also seized the opportunity to highlight the role of the NHRC in the State and how efficient collaboration with the police is needed in the enforcement of the Commission’s core mandate as the Commission in turn continues its role in Protecting, Promoting and Enforcing all Human Rights including those of the Law Enforcement agents.
She said, “The National Human Rights Commission stands resolute in its commitment to address critical issues affecting the rights of women and girls. This period of activism serves as a poignant reminder of the pressing need to confront and alleviate the multifaceted challenges faced by our women and girls and by extension our society.
The 16days of activism against Gender based violence is an international campaign that takes place every year, commencing from 25 November, which is the international day for the Elimination of violence against women and ends on 10th December, which is the international human rights day.The theme for the 2023 16 days of Activism is,”INVEST TO PREVENT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS”, The theme focuses on the importance of financing different prevention strategies to end violence against women and girls.”
“It is an unequivocal truth that a society that invests in the wellbeing, progress and independence of women reaps immeasurable benefits. Our efforts towards fostering an environment that champions and priorities the Rights of women to Reproductive health, education and economic empowerment will lay a foundation for a more equitable and violence free society which empowers women to make informed decisions and choices that benefits them and promote their well-being and rights.”
This year’s theme urges us to reflect deeply on the various prevention strategies needed to halt violence at its roots, It prompts us to channel our efforts into initiatives that safeguard the rights and dignity of every woman and girl. To celebrate this year’s 16th day of activism, the Commission has earmarked series of programmes of activities on Human rights issues particularly Rights of women and girls and advocacy visits to key stakeholders such as the Office of the First Ladies, NBA, FIDA and CSOs across the 36 states of Nigeria and FCT.”
“The Commission in fulfilling its Human rights mandate especially Rights of Women and girls have a dedicated Department, which handles only issues of Rights of women and children.The Commission has dedicated toll free lines and call centre for reporting of GBV complaints.The Commission in 2021 established SGBV panels in the geographical region of the country. Currently the Commission has an ongoing Special investigative Panel for Allegations of mass abortion and SGBV in the North East counter insurgency operations.”
“As we celebrate this year’s 16days of activism the Commission calls for.The Ratification of the Maputo protocol which has very laudable provisions for protection of the rights of women. Enactment of the Gender Equality bills by the National Assembly. Enactment of the VAPP by all state Houses of Assembly.”
“Together, let us invest in tools and resources necessary to break the cycle of violence against women and girls and usher in the era of equality, respect and dignity for all.” She said.
On its part the Commission reiterates its unwavering commitment to accelerate the reconvening of the special Panel on SGBV.Commits to work with stakeholders to enhance speedy investigation and resolution of all SGBV Cases/Complaints.
In his response the State Commissioner of Police CP Adebola Hamzat, thanked the NHRC for the visit and gave his unwavering support to the campaign in ending all forms of SGBV.
The Commissioner used the opportunity to highlight some of the steps been taken by the police in its fight against the crime of SGBV, stating in his words that Crime is Crime no matter shape or form or whomever might be the perpetrator, stressing that Police would continue to intensify it’s efforts in ensuring a safe society for all citizens.
He reassured NHRC of availability of the police at all times in partnership and looked forward to a harmonious working relationship in the interest of all citizens.