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Poverty, terrorism, weapons of human rights violations

Chairman, Network of National Human Rights Institutions in West Africa, NNHRI-WA, Prof. Bem Angwe, has identified poverty and acts of terrorism as strongest weapons of human rights violations in West Africa and called on the various governments in the sub-region to muster the much needed political will to tackle the challenges frontally.

Angwe, Executive Secretary of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, in Dakar, Senegal, weekend, at the conference of the Human Rights Community in West Africa, noted that there were wide spread violations of rights across the sub region arising from violent conflicts and deficit of governance.

Against this backdrop, Angwe tasked various governments of West African countries to prioritise programmes targeted at poverty reduction, employment creation and the protection and promotion of rights of the people. He said attention should focussed on the vulnerable groups including the physically challenged persons, women and children.

Angwe called on countries in the sub region that were yet to establish National Human Rights Institutions, NHRIs, to hasten the process in view of the potency of such institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights.

He urged countries that established NHRIs to strengthen them in line with the Paris Principles of 1993 to guarantee the independence and financial autonomy of such institutions.

He said : “Human rights violations occur in all countries of the world, but it becomes a bigger problem if human rights institutions cannot offer help when victims of rights violations seek redress, just because they lack independence, effective enforcement procedures or the needed resources.

Source : Vanguard

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