December 10, 2019

We’ve supported over 3,000 victims of rape, child abuse — NGO


An illustration of a rape incident.

An NGO, Crime Victims Foundation (CRIVIFON), in charge of Human Right Advocacy, says it has supported no fewer than 3,000 rape victims and 1,000 complainants across the country.

The Executive Director of CRIVIFON, Mrs Gloria Egbuji, made the disclosure on Tuesday at the 71st Commemoration of the United Nations World Human Right Day in Surulere area of Lagos.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that every Dec. 10 is set aside by the United Nations to celebrate the World Human Rights Day.

The date was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation on Dec. 10, 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

The first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.

The day is normally marked, both by high-level political conferences and meetings and by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues.

Egbuji, represented by Mr Evaristus Aloko, a Director of CRIVIFON, said that the victims supported included rape, domestic violence, human right violation and disasters, adding that no fewer than 1,000 complainants had also been supported.

“CRIVIFON is the first organisation to set up a human right desk in all Police Divisions in Lagos State Police Command, and in the country.

According to Egbuji, no fewer than 3,000 various victims have been supported.

“Also, over 1,000 complainants have been supported by setting up Human Right Clinics at the Police Command and the National Office where people’s human rights abuses are being attended to and resolved.

“We have also trained over 20,000 policemen, military personnel and traditional rulers on the practice of alternative dispute resolution.

“Training of youths on peacebuilding and others are some of the training programmes that CTIVIFON has undertaken for many years,” he said

Egbuji said that the organisation would go to the grassroots to organise activities to honour the day in line with the theme of the day “Promoting and Deepening Human Rights Culture”.

He said the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights still remains “a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable right which everyone is inherently entitled to regardless of colour, race, sex, language political or another opinion.

According to him, the declaration set out the universal value and a common standard of achievement for all people and all nations.

In her remarks, Mrs Ibukun Ibikunle, a Senior State Counsel, Office of the Public Defender (OPD) in Lagos State, said that the office had worked tirelessly to ensure rights of the citizens, both young and old, were protected.

Ibikunle said OPD had established, in collaboration with the police, a rescue mission on child abuse and defilement to ensure the victims were properly taken care of in good environment without stigma and victimisation.

“We enlighten the victims after the crime has been reported that they should not be afraid of victimisation or worry about stigmatisation.

“Any form of violence, either physical or sexual, are reported to the Ministry of Justice for proper legal action against the suspects,” she said.

According to her, one of the challenges of domestic violence and child abuse is a sentiment attached to the matter by the family members.

“We need optimum information about the issue, but at times, child abuse by relatives will be attached with the sentiment,” she added.

Ibikunle said that parents and members of the family would later decide to resolve the matter in the family, rather than allow the law to take its course.

Also, SP Elizabeth Opadola, the Divisional Police Officer in Charge of Aguda Division, urged residents to report any criminal case to the police for necessary prosecution.

Opadola said that in a situation where a community, family or relative was harbouring criminals or criminal act such an act would have multiplier effects on the society.

Commenting, Mr Titus Ofurum, the National Coordinator, CRIVIFON, also urged the police and other law enforcement agencies to be proactive in preventing crimes.