By: Awesome Ekene
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Anambra State on Friday said no fewer than 341 complaints on human rights violations were received in the state this year.
State Coordinator, Mrs Nkechi Ugwuanyi disclosed this in Awka at the commemoration of the 2021 International Human Rights Day with the theme – “Equality – Reducing Inequalities, Advancing Human Rights”.
She said the complaints were mostly human rights violations, with 80 per cent of them being sexual and gender-based violence.
She listed child abuse, disinheritance, widowhood practice, battery, unlawful arrests by the police and prolonged detention by the police, as among the received complaints.
“We receive about three complaints everyday. From January to date, we recorded 341 cases of human rights violations. But that won’t deter us from responding to such issues because respect for human rights is critical to any democracy for healthier society,” she noted.
While reiterating free services of the commission, Ugwuanyi called on residents to report cases of abuse to the appropriate authorities for prompt action, assuring that such reports would be treated with confidence.
She also called for the training of police officers on the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law for proper prosecution of human rights cases.
Also speaking, member of the VAPP Law Implementation Committee, Francis Ekwemeze called on state government to establish special courts to handle cases of sexual and gender-based violence, to facilitate speedy justice for victims.
Mrs Chioma Okoye of Legal Aid Initiative, underscored the place of intensified sensitisation on violence gender-based violence and the enforcement of Violence Against Persons Prohibition law.
On her part, Mrs Rachel Yohanna of Child Protection Network urged civil society organisations to demonstrate passion in the fight against violence against women and children as well as follow-up cases to a logical conclusion.