NASS vows to pass stiffer laws against sexual, gender-based violence as NHRC unveils reporting platform

By Ameh Ejekwonyilo

The National Assembly has pledged to make stiffer legislations that would strengthen the fight against Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Nigeria.

The Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele stated this in Abuja on Thursday, when he represented the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan at the official launch of UNSUB web and mobile application, as a response platform for victims of SGBV in Nigeria.

The Senate President observed that issues of SGBV had been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and across the globe, “saying there is need for us as a nation to come together, brainstorm and fashion out best ways to tackle the menace.

According Lawan who is also the Chairman of National Assembly, “injection of technologies would always minimise the potency of criminal actions and expand the range of management, in the concerted bid to rid the system of these crimes”.

He said the theme of this launching, which is “Exploring Innovative Routes to tackling the escalation of SGBV in a pandemic”, is very apt as it captures the essence of creativity in dealing with a malaise, made rife by the pandemic.

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu, in his statement noted that perpetrators of rape and other Sexual and Gender Based Violence will no longer go unpunished following the launch of UNSUB Platform by the NHRC in collaboration with other partners as the platform will ensure accountability for these heinous crimes.

Ojukwu explained that the UNSUB Platform was designed by a technology company, CANs, to support responders to cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence to get justice for the survivors and victims, as well as pave the way for the punishment of offenders in accordance with the law.

The Chief Human Rights Officers in Nigeria disclosed that UNSUB Platform is launched in collaboration with CANs, OSIWA, Office of the Vice President and Embassy of Switzerland to facilitate synergy amongst stakeholders in handling cases of rape and SGBV.

Other partners in the fights against SGBV and other related violations who were represented at the occasion include, OFFICE OF THE AGF, IGP, NAPTIP, WACOL, FIDA, WRAPA and OSIWA.

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