Geneva Council, a distinguished independent news organization committed to upholding human rights and justice worldwide, strongly condemns the alarming revelation that 80 percent of human rights violations in Benue State are gender-related. The shocking statistic underscores the urgent need for action to address this grave issue.
In a recent press conference, Barrister Solumtochukwu Precious Ozobulu, a Senior Legal Officer, highlighted the harrowing reality that less than 10 percent of survivors of these violations can access justice, despite the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law in 2019.
Geneva Council urges Benue State Governor, Rev Fr Dr. Hyacinth Alia, to take immediate action by prioritizing the review of the VAPP Law and establishing mechanisms for the effective operation of the Sexual Assaults Referral Centre (SARC). This is a critical step in addressing the gender-based violence crisis in the region.
Ozobulu emphasized the pressing need for change, stating, “We call for an immediate review of the VAPP Law to enhance access to justice for vulnerable individuals, particularly women and girls. This legal revision could positively impact over 100,000 women and girls who currently lack access to justice and the protections provided by this legislation.”
The 8th Benue State Assembly passed the VAPP Law in 2019 with the aim of criminalizing all forms of violence against individuals. However, the effective implementation of this important legislation has encountered significant obstacles. Despite the existence of the law, gender-based violence, particularly against women and girls, continues to persist. Tragically, survivors in Benue State rarely receive the justice they deserve due to limitations and gaps in the legislation.
It is estimated that more than 80 percent of human rights violations in Benue State are gender-related. Shockingly, less than 10 percent of survivors of gender-based violence are able to access justice. Geneva Council stands firmly with the organization working alongside members of the 10th Benue Assembly to facilitate the review of this law, originally enacted to safeguard vulnerable individuals, especially women and girls.
As an independent news organization dedicated to promoting human rights, Geneva Council emphasizes the urgency of addressing this issue and calls upon all stakeholders to take immediate and effective measures to combat gender-based human rights violations in Benue State. We will continue to monitor developments closely and advocate for justice, equality, and the protection of human rights worldwide.