Sexual Violence: NHRC Receives 275 Cases In Nigeria

National, Uncategorized

A Special Investigative Panel on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence has considered Two Hundred and Seventy-five cases in the six geopolitical zones of the country.

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu stated this in Abuja at the second public hearing on sexual and gender based violence in the country.

The Special Investigative Panel on Sexual and Gender Based Violence was inaugurated following the request by the office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the National Human Rights Commission to take immediate steps to arrest the growing scourge of sexual and gender based violence spreading across the country.

The directive was as a result of public outrage and condemnation sparked by several incidences of disturbing violence against women perpetrated in public and private spaces.

Some cases in mind were allegations of rape, sexual harassment, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment meted to commercial sex workers and innocent citizens in an attempt by armed security personnel led by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB and FCT Joint Task Force to sanitize the city.

Other reported cases of sexual and gender based violence were those of a Thirteen year old girl Ochanya Ogbanje who died as result of her ordeal in Benue state, sex for grades in some institutions of higher learning, the rape to death of an undergraduate student of the University of Benin; Miss Vera Uwaila and several other domestic violence in homes.

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu said the aim of the panel was to investigate such cases of sexual and gender-based violence and award compensation to victims.

The Programme Manager, Spotlight Initiative on violence against women and girls, United Nations Development Programme, Mrs Onyinye Ndubuisi said the gesture had provided survivors with access to justice and economic empowerment.

The Chief Technical Advisor Rule of Law and Human Rights, UNDP, Mr Simon Ridley recommended clear guidelines for raids and investigations by law enforcement agencies to prevent incidences of sexual assaults and harassment of women by security personnel.

The Special Investigative Panel on Sexual and Gender Based Violence was inaugurated last year by the commission in collaboration with the UNDP Spotlight Initiative on violence against women and girls.

Bose Ijelekhai

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