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Human Rights Day: NHRC, others call for youth involvement in decision making



(NAN ) The Executive Secretary, Human Rights Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu, and other stakeholders on human rights on Tuesday called for active participation of the youth in decision making .

They spoke at an event to commemorate the 2019 International human Rights Day in Abuja.

In an address of welcome, Ojukwu said the day was one that humanity would always remember with nostalgia and utmost gratitude to the UN.

He  said Dec. 10 “provides us the opportunity as individuals, institutions,  as well as a people to renew and reaffirm our commitment to upholding the basic tenets and fundamentals of human rights as enshrined in the UDHR’’.

According to Ojukwu, the theme of the celebration, ‘Youth Standing Up for Human Rights“, is imperative given the increasing population of young persons.

” In the country, there is the need to collectively ensure that youths participate actively in decision making to enable them contribute meaningfully to nation building.

The energy of the young people should be positively utilised and channelled into national development and that can only happen when they are assisted to live their rights and realise their potential in life.

In our efforts to comprehensively tackle the emerging human rights concerns, we thought it expedient to maximise our human rights education and promotion,’’ Ojukwu said.

He said the aim was  to ensure Nigerians  knew their rights and appreciated the need to seek redress from appropriate institution such as the Human Rights Commission.

He added that the Public Complaints Commission. the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons can also be reached.

He said that one of the trending human rights concerns of the nation was the issue of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

According to him, the commission has set up a high powered investigation panel which is  expected to provide a sustainable solution to the prevalence of SGBV, especially among the vulnerable.

He said the panel had so far covered two geopolitical zones in the country where it conducted public hearing and participants made shocking revelations.

As we also mark the end today of the 16 days of activism against SGBV. we are optimistic that the message has been sent loud and clear that gender -based Violence is grave human rights violation that cannot be tolerated.

In the bid to take the gospel of human rights to the nooks and crannies of the society and mitigate violations, we have stepped up our advocacy visits to public places like schools,  markets and hospitals.

Following our series of engagements with institutions various schools have established Human Rights Clubs in line with our Education and Promotion programmes,” he said.

Ojukwu said the lack of awareness of human rights principles and norms contributed immensely in fuelling cases of human rights violations at different levels of the society .

In a goodwill message, Mr Buhari Bello, Chairman, Federal Road Safety Commission, called on the relevant authorities to empower the youth to enable them to play their roles.

He called on the states yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act of 2003 to do so.

Dr Martin Ejidike, Senior Human Rights Advisor to UN Country Team to Nigeria, of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that 49.6 per cent of the population were youths.

He said that the youth should be viewed as part of the solution not as part of the problem.

He added that the youths should be integrated into the programmes for national development as they were the future and the present.

Mr  Simon Karu, member, Committee on Human Rights, who represented the Speaker, House of Representatives, called on all to remember the golden rule and treat others right.

He said everyone should cultivate the culture of human rights value and respect it.

Karu added that by so doing human rights would be respected. (NAN )

Edited /Chukwudi Ekezie

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