In the context of its activities aimed at promoting the enjoyment of Human Rights in Nigeria, Avocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France), in collaboration with its local partners, the Carmelite Prisoners Interest Organisation (CAPIO) and the Nigerian Bar Association held its second SAFE mission to Kaduna State. Activities under this mission included, advocacy visit to key stakeholders in the state, training for media and CSOs on human rights, training for security agencies on human rights and a stakeholder roundtable meeting on Human Rights. The fully packed mission was orchestrated on the wings of the “Strengthening the National Actors Capacities and Advocation for Ending Severe Human Rights Violations in Nigeria project” (SAFE), funded by the European Union and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), which is targeted at addressing human rights violations of torture, extra-judicial killings and arbitrary detention.
The training for the media and CSOs took place on the 22nd – 23rd of March, 2021, the 2-day training was aimed at improving documentation and reporting of human rights violations in Kaduna state by media and CSOs. The training was conducted for 20 trainees in total drawn from journalists and CSOs practicing in Kaduna State.
The advocacy visits to key stakeholders in the state which took place on the 24th and 25th of March 2021, saw Avocats Sans Frontières France pay visits to; Kaduna State Coordinator, National Human Rights Commission, Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Comptroller General of Corrections Service, and the Chief Judge, Kaduna State High Court. In these visits, the Country Director of Avocats Sans Frontières France, Angela Uwandu Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, reinstated the mission of the SAFE project, provided updates on the status of its implementation, and enforced the need for the continued partnership of the stakeholders to fully achieve the goals of the project.
The training for security agencies on human rights took place on the 12th – 14th of April, 2021; the 3-day training was aimed at increasing the level of commitment of stakeholders in taking action against human rights violations in Kaduna State. In attendance at this training were officers of the Police, EFCC, NCDC, Corrections Service, DSS, Kaduna State Vigilante Service, Nigerian Army, NDLEA.
The mission was rounded off with the organization of a roundtable meeting of stakeholders and security agencies in the state on the 16th of April 2021. The roundtable was aimed at deliberating on key human rights issues such as; challenges for the implementation of the anti-torture act, disciplinary mechanisms within security agencies for human rights violations in Kaduna State, implementation of the administration of criminal justice law in Kaduna State and other specific issues raised by participants during the trainings for security agencies and media and CSOs. A total of 25 participants from various security agencies and key institutions in the criminal justice sector in Kaduna State constituted the roundtable deliberations.
During the deliberations, Mrs. Uwandu Uzoma-Iwuchukwu in one of her contributions stated the importance of the Anti-torture Act saying “the act criminalizes torture while protecting victims and witnesses of torture. She urged for a quick implementation of the Act to promote accountability”.
ASF France’s SAFE project is co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the French Agency for Development (AFD) and is implemented in partnership with the Nigerian Bar Association and the Carmelite Prisoners’ Interest Organization (CAPIO).
Signed: Angela Uwandu, Country Director, Avocats Sans Frontiéres France, Nigeria.
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This project is co- funded by the European Union and the Agence Française de Développement. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of ASF France and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the Donors.