Building capacity for monitoring Human Rights in Nigeria: UNDP continues to train monitors

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original

UNDP supports human rights for development, as an essential element for expanding people’s choices, protecting their rights and freedoms. In Nigeria, UNDP is doing so through training local people and imparting skills that enable them to fully appreciate human rights, monitor their protection and report their abuses to government for required attention and redress.

In our continued effort to support the Government of Nigeria in putting in place a structured monitoring system of human rights situation in the North- East, UNDP has continued to build human capacity in the region that continue to face challenges of general insurgency, violent conflict and acts of terrorism.

Support has so far been provided by UNDP to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to identify, train and deploy human rights’ monitors to provide capacity necessary to respond to the situation in the North- Eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. A state of emergency was declared in May, 2013 in these states. Through UNDP support, human rights monitors have been identified, trained and deployed across the country. An initial 30 were deployed in the three states under state of emergency in 2014. Following successful training, which benefited an additional 30 individuals, conducted in March 2015, the monitors were deployed, in partnership with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), across the states in the North East and were documenting evidence and reporting on the human rights situation in the region in the context of the general elections- in light of the decision by international election observers and most local observers not to deploy in the North East. The reports compiled will be useful in providing advice to the Government of Nigeria on necessary remedial actions.

The training included areas around; human rights overview of Nigeria; human rights monitoring, documentation and interviewing witnesses especially in a hostile environment; human rights reporting and its stages; monitoring human rights violations in situations of armed conflict; and safety issues in monitoring and documenting human rights. In order to strengthen the process, UNDP is working to support the NHRC to identify, train and deploy additional monitors during the course of the year.

UNDP protects and promotes the universal values of human rights and rule of law- guided by the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We work to ensure that the plans, policies and processes of development are anchored in these rights. To make progress in development, progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, every individual must be valued by society and their rights secured and upheld.