The Geneva Council expresses its unwavering support for Jennifer Abe, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) coordinator in Plateau State, Nigeria. Abe’s tireless efforts in tackling discrimination and human rights violations have earned the admiration and support of Geneva Council.
In a recent interview, Jennifer Abe shed light on the pressing issue of discrimination faced by widows in Plateau State. The NHRC has received 14 complaints related to these egregious cases, mainly concerning landed properties meant for inheritance. In addition, the coordinator drew attention to other distressing violations, such as unlawful detention by the military, harassment, and torture, which highlight the urgency of addressing these grave human rights concerns.
The Geneva Council deeply shares the concern of Jennifer Abe over the shocking prevalence of human rights abuses, particularly those affecting women and children. It is distressing to note that 80% of reported violations involve domestic violence, sexual and gender-based violence, neglect, abandonment, and the exploitation and abuse of children. Such alarming figures underscore the dire need for collective action to protect the most vulnerable in society.
“We stand firmly in support of Jennifer Abe’s call for victims of human rights violations to report their cases,” stated the spokesperson for the Geneva Council. “By reporting such incidents, victims can access the necessary support for their mental well-being and take critical steps towards seeking justice and putting an end to these violations.”
The Geneva Council recognizes the importance of community involvement in tackling these challenges. Abe’s emphasis on aggressive sensitization programs to raise awareness about human rights is commendable. The Council believes that educating individuals and communities about their rights is a pivotal step towards fostering a society that values and protects the rights of all its members.
“We fully endorse Jennifer Abe’s efforts to engage in enlightenment programs, seminars, workshops, and face-to-face interactions at the community level,” the spokesperson added. “We acknowledge that reaching out to rural communities through ‘village square meetings’ can empower individuals with knowledge about their rights and where to seek redress when their rights are violated.”
In light of the alarming number of complaints received in August 2022, when the NHRC registered over 200,000 cases of violence against women and children, the Geneva Council underscores the critical importance of continued efforts to combat human rights violations. The Council appeals to the authorities and concerned stakeholders to work collaboratively to create an environment where victims can safely come forward and report violations without fear of reprisal.
The Geneva Council calls on governments, civil society organizations, and individuals to unite in supporting the NHRC’s endeavors to uphold human rights and eliminate all forms of discrimination. The Council urges for comprehensive and sustained efforts to tackle the root causes of discrimination and violence to build a just, equitable, and inclusive society for all.