Nigeria: Avocats Trains Journalists On Human Rights Advocacy

2 August 2021

Benin City — A human rights advocacy group, "Avocats Sans Frontiers, France" also known as (Lawyers Without Borders) during the weekend trained journalists in Benin City, Edo State on Human Rights Advocacy and "Promoting the United Nations Convention Against Torture(ProCAT)"

The two-day event, which drew journalists across the various media houses in the state focused attention on:"Fundamental Human Rights"; Promoting Human Dignity-Salient Provisions of the United Nations Convention against Torture"; Accountability of Perpetrators of Human Rights Abuses under the Anti-Torture Acts 2017' among others.

Speaking, the Avocats Facilitator, Edugie Amihere, said the training was designed for media workers to understand their rights so that they could become human rights advocates.

She said that the Anti-torture Act(2017) is an important step in ensuring justice for victims of torture and curbing the practice of torture in Nigeria.

She stated that since 2009, ASF has been providing free legal services to victims of torture in Nigeria through their ProCAT project and that the organisation believes that producing copies of the Anti-torture Act 2017 would create awareness amongst security agencies and the general public In the existence of this important legislation and to encourage its implementation. She also urged other states to follow the steps of Lagos State which have domesticated the Act

"Since,2009, ASF has been providing free legal services to victims of torture in Nigeria through the ProCAT project and, the organisation believes that by producing copies of the Anti-torture Act 2017, awareness will be created amongst security agencies and the general public of the existence of this important legislation and to encourage its implementation. I am, urging other states to follow the steps of Lagos State which have domesticated the Act. It is only when it has been domesticated that it can be enforced by every court in the State," Amihere said.

Also speaking, a legal practitioner, Mrs. Patricia Iyomon, said Nigeria was never in want of good laws but lacked the will to implement such good laws.

She added that everybody should stand up and speak against torture and human rights violations by security agents.

According to her "human rights are those rights inherent in us as human and which cannot be taken away", maintaining that the Nigerian constitution has guaranteed the fundamental rights of its citizens.

Also, highlighted was the "United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman, Degrading Treatment or Punishment."(Adopted by the UN General Assembly resolution 39/46 of 10 December 1984) which states that the "recognition of the equal and inalienable rights of members of the human family is the foundation for freedom, justice, and peace in the world and that those rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person."

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