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Protection of Migrant Rights: UN, NHRC Call for Holistic Approach



Protection of Migrant Rights: UN, NHRC Call for Holistic Approach

By: Michael Mike

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights(OHCHR)
have called for an holistic approach to protect the rights of migrants.

The call was made on Monday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the two-day training on human rights and migration, organised by the United Nations in Nigeria for staff of the NHRC.

The training titled: “PROMIS-Protection of Migrants” is aimed at strengthening capacities of West African states, develop human rights-based responses to smuggling of migrants and combat rights violations.

The Executive-Secretary of NHRC, Mr Tony Ojukwu, in his remarks, described the PROMIS – Protection of Migrants project as relevant in efforts to tackle issues related to violation of the rights of migrants.

He said the training would provide NHRC personnel with understanding of international human rights frameworks, treaties and regional instruments relevant to human rights at international borders and specific human rights challenges faced by individuals at international borders.

He added that the need to adopt a human rights-based approach to migration management has been underscored by the multiple thematic and sectoral interests that converge in migration management.

Ojukwu said: “In our world today, migrants face dehumanizing conditions, illegal arrests and prolonged detention, torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, life threatening conditions on land and sea.

“As we focus on irregular migration and smuggling across our borders, it is important we do not lose sight of trafficking within Nigeria becoming an epidemic.

“As human rights advocates and frontline defenders, staff of the National Human Rights Commission stand on a strong legal and institutional footing to tackle this present and emerging styles of human rights violations.

“I want to pledge that this training programme we are receiving today under the auspices of PROMIS and the OHCHR shall be extended to all our state offices in due course as migration is all encompassing.

“We will continue to work with our partners within and outside the government to strengthen policies, and practices that impact on human rights of migrants, victims of trafficking and smuggling of migrants.”

Ojukwu however decried social, economic and political vulnerabilities such as poverty, inequalities, conflicts, and human insecurity as the major triggers to irregular migration, trafficking and smuggling of migrants.

He said the NHRC Amendment Act of 2010 vested the Commission with wide ranging powers to monitor human rights, conduct investigations on violations, embark upon public interest litigations, conduct research and produce Guidelines and Advisories.

He noted that migration extends to rights to dignity, adequate standard of living, quality health and education amongst others.

Also speaking at the event, Senior Human Rights Adviser, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Adwoa Kufuor-Owusu, lamented that migration related issues have affected countless lives of individuals and communities.

She said although migration could transform societies, economies and individual lives, its challenges could lead to violations of human rights of migrants if not properly managed and safeguarded.

She noted that to manage and safeguard vulnerabilities that might arise in the context of migration, various legal and institutional frameworks were established both at international, regional and national levels.

Kufuor-Owusu said: “We gather not only to deepen understanding of these issues, but to reaffirm our commitment to core human rights principles of dignity, equality and non-discrimination for everyone everywhere, regardless of migratory status.

“It is my privilege to welcome you to this training, to engage in meaningful discussion about topics of utmost significance in today’s globalized world.

“It is my sincere hope that over the two-day training you will seize the opportunity to strengthen your capacity to apply various international and national human rights frameworks to migrants, especially at international borders.

“I equally hope the discussions in this training will allow for reflections on synergies between the NHRC and other stakeholders, for effective promotion and protection of migrants in Nigeria,” Kufuor-Owusu said.

She urged the participants to uphold the training as a platform for open dialogue and mutual learning, where they could draw upon collective wisdom and experiences of diverse groups.

She reiterated the UN’s commitment to collaborate with the NHRC to support Nigeria and enhance the promotion and protection of the rights of migrants, especially migrants in vulnerable situations.

The training was put together under the auspices of the joint initiative by the UN Human Rights Office and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. In attendance were 25-NHRC staff across field offices.

Protection of Migrant Rights: UN, NHRC Call for Holistic Approach

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SGBV Centre to be Established in All Wards in Kuje LGA



SGBV Centre to be Established in All Wards in Kuje LGA

By: Michael Mike

Kuje local council of the Federal Capital Territory is set to establish Sexual and Gender Based Violence Centre in all its ten political wards to clampdown on the growing menace.

Delivering a speech at a one-day community advocacy/dialogue on issues of SGBV organised by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for stakeholders in Kuje, the Council Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Sabo who noted that: “Violence against women and girls in any form is the manifestation of profound lack of respect and a failure by men to recognize the inherent equality and dignity of women,” said that the council would set up response centres across the 10 political wards in Kuje Area Council to support the fight against SGBV.

The Chairman who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Abdullahi Sabo (Snr), said: “The time for complacency has long gone, it is time for action, we can no longer watch over 70 per cent of women in our communities face physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

” Therefore, for an effective response to this menace, the need for different sectors in the society to collaborate and work together cannot be overemphasised.

“We indeed pledge to do better for survivors of SGBV. As an institution, we need to do more to support victims and hold the perpetrators accountable.

“We have to do more to respond to the cry for justice for women and children who have suffered violence.”

On her part, the NAPTIP Director-General, Prof Fatima Waziri-Azi, said that the aim of the dialogue was to discuss the unique roles of all community stakeholders towards reducing SGBV in the FCT.

She said that it was also aim at empowering community members to recognize early signs of abuse, intervene effectively create a culture that does not tolerate violence.

“We must collectively continue to create a supportive environment where victims feel empowered to report cases of SGBV, this lies in the hands of the communities.

She said that parents are been complacent by failing to protect their children in abusive and exploitative situations.

The DG encouraged Nigerians to report cases of SGBV to NAPTIP, while also stressing the need to preserve evidence especially in cases of rape.

SGBV Centre to be Established in All Wards in Kuje LGA

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President Tinubu flags off inaugural airlift of 2024 Hajj in Kebbi



President Tinubu flags off inaugural airlift of 2024 Hajj in Kebbi

By: Our Reporter

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (CFR) has flagged-off the inaugural airlift of 2024 Hajji exercise from Nigeria to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The grand ceremony took place at Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday with distinguished personalities in attendance.

The President, who was represented by the Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima, urged the intending pilgrims to pray for peace, unity and progress of the country.

He charged the intending pilgrims to abide by all rules and regulations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and urged them to avoid any illicit act capable of affecting the integrity of their Hajj.

“Mr president has been committed to this year’s Hajji due to the economic situation, he has also contributed the sum of N90 billion Naira to subsidise this year’s Hajj exercise in order to have a smooth and successful exercise.
”You may recall that this year, we had a major challenge in announcing the final hajj fare for the 2024 Muslim pilgrimage due to fluctuation in foreign exchange rates.

”President Bola Tinubu also work round the clock to control the downwards spiral of our local currency to bring relief to our pilgrims and other Nigerians.

”A moved that eventually succeeded in lowering the fare. The President approved the released of N90 billion to subsidized the cost of pilgrimage for this year’s hajj.”

He said that the government of Renewed Hope led by Tinubu attaches immense importance to religious pilgrimage due to the role its plays in transforming behavioral and social vices of the believers beyond performing the pilgrimage.

Delivering his speech, the Kebbi State Governor, Comrade Dr Nasir Idris said this year’s Hajji signifies a sacred journey for thousands of devoted pilgrims who embarked on a spiritual voyage to the Holy land.

He explained further that Hajj is a time to honoured tradition that holds great significance for Muslims around the world.

“It is a journey of faith, devotion and unity where believers come together to fufill one of the five pillars of Islam, the pilgrimage to Mecca is a profound experience that fosters a sense of community, humility and spiritual renewal,” he said

The Governor urged the people that they should remember the significance of this sacred ritual, adding that Hajji remained a testament to the unity of Muslim Ummah, transcending geographical boundaries and cultural differences.

“It is a time for reflection, prayer and seeking forgiveness, as well as an opportunity for personal growth and self discovery,” he added.

He commended the Federal Government, National Hajji Commission and those that were involved for there commitments toward the successful exercise.

Gov. Idris noted with satisfaction that Kebbi was the first state to remit 2024 Hajj fare in Nigeria, adding the intending pilgrims from Kebbi were given special treatment by the present administration to confort them toward a successful Hajj exercise.

The governor said his administration had spent N900 for infrastrutural development of the Hajj Camp in Birnin Kebbi to make it more conducive for the intending pilgrims

In his remarks, the National Chairman, National Hajji Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Jalai Ahmad Arabi thanked the President and Kebbi State Governor for their support and cooperation towards the success of this year’s Hajji exercise.

He described this year’s Hajji as the most innovative and special one, saying, “honestly, I am well over warm the way and manner the Kebbi State Goqqvernor committed all the resources for them to achieve.

President Tinubu flags off inaugural airlift of 2024 Hajj in Kebbi

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Nigeria Calls for Collaboration Among ECOWAS States to Develop Tourism Sector in West Africa



Nigeria Calls for Collaboration Among ECOWAS States to Develop Tourism Sector in West Africa

By: Michael Mike

Nigeria government has called for the collaboration among the counties of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to develop the tourism potential of the subregion and place West Africa in prime position to compete with other regions.

The Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Folorunsho Coker, also called for the streamlining of policies on tourism in countries in the subregion while delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of the meeting of experts and stakeholders of the private tourism industry on the monitoring and evaluation mechanism of ECOTOUR 19-29 and the ECOWAS Tourism Accommodation regulator in Abuja on Tuesday.

Coker said: “It’s the season to collaborate not to compete,” adding that: “It’s in the spirit of collaboration that we will grow pan-African tourism.”

He said: “I want to encourage the localisation of policies”, insisting that policies would only be successful when localised.

Coker said all the regulations in the region be streamlined into one that will guide activities in the tourism sector across the 15 ECOWAS member states, urging for the training of tourism operators in the region as well as the introduction of technology in tourism.

He said: “We must embrace technology or it will leave us behind.”

The Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture of the ECOWAS Commission, Massandjé Toure-Liste said the meeting drew aspiration from the ECOTOUR 19-29 action plan, adopted by the Authority of Heads of State and Government which was designed to serve as a roadmap for promoting responsible tourism.

She said: “To this end, our technical meeting today centres around drafting the operational modalities for two critical tools: the ECOTOUR 19-29 monitoring and evaluation mechanism and the ETAR – ECOWAS Tourism Accommodation Regulator.

“The ECOTOUR 19-29 Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism will involve developing operational guidelines and appointing dedicated members or focal points to oversee its implementation.

“Simultaneously, for the ECOWAS Tourist Accommodation Regulator (ETAR) we will define the composition and operational modalities in alignment with Regulation C.REG.2/07/23.

“Our focus on Private Sector Collaboration includes; facilitating dialogue among representatives from the private tourism sector and encouraging strategic alignment and collaboration at the regional level.

Massandjé, who was represented by the ECOWAS Commission’s Director of Private sector, Dr Anthony Elumelu, said: “Additionally, we aim to support private sector players in finalising the process of creating a regional confederation.”

The meeting is expected to end on Friday 17th May, 2024.

Nigeria Calls for Collaboration Among ECOWAS States to Develop Tourism Sector in West Africa

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