By Edith Nwapi
Abuja – The Executive Secretary (ES) , National Human Rights Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu, said on Friday that annual human rights summit coming up soon would be for the appraisal of the human rights situations in the country.
Ojukwu said this in Abuja at a news briefing on the summit coming up on Dec. 8, to Dec. 10, in Abuja.
He said that it was necessary to ensure that the country continued to improve on its human rights reporting obligations and to enhance public enlightenment on the regional and international review process of the human rights situation.
Ojukwu said that there was need to institutionalise a broad national consultative process to assess the human rights situation in the country periodically and ensure steady progress in the realisation of rights.
He added that it was against the back drop that the National Human Rights commission (NHRC), deemed it necessary to facilitate an annual national stakeholders summit on human rights in Nigeria.
Furthermore, he said the federal government supported among other several recommendations “to institutionalise a national consultative forum to promote dialogue in the field of human rights.
According to him, the government gave the support at the 2009 United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR) of Nigeria.
“The key objectives are to provide a platform for an annual appraisal of human rights situation in Nigeria by relevant stakeholders,” he said.
He added that the Annual Human Rights Summit would provide the platform for human rights stakeholders to meet annually to put into proper perspective various issues concerning the promotion, protection, and enforcement of human rights in Nigeria.
Ojukwu further said that the increasing need to engage all MDAs and civil society groups on human rights violation in Nigeria made the Annual Human Rights Summit an imperative strategy for policy appraisal.
He added also dialogue and agenda setting in the area of human rights.
According to him, the Summit is expected to provide an excellent opportunity for the review of Nigeria’s performance with reference to the protection and promotion of human rights by relevant stakeholders.
He said it would provide a platform for relevant Federal and State ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to present their score cards on protection of human rights.
He added that it would help to identify positive human rights developments, the gaps and the challenges, emerging issues and priorities for the summit year.
Ojukwu further said that it would help to assess national development agenda policies and programmes of governments at all levels, vis-a-vis their role in the enjoyment and realisation of human rights.
According to him, the summit will also identify appropriate actions for the following year and concrete follow-up strategies.
He stated that the measure was in order to ensure the integration of rights-based approach into Nigeria’s development agenda as well as the post-2019 development framework.
Ojukwu said that the three-day summit would have its theme as “Adopting Rights-based Approach in the Public Sector Sustainable Development Agenda.”
He added that it would focus on thematic areas crucial to the realisation and enjoyment of human rights in Nigeria such as civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights among others.
According to Ojukwu, there would be human rights awards to individuals, federal/state agencies and corporate institutions in recognition of their contributions to human rights protection in Nigeria.
He mentioned that nomination could be done through the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, or through www.humanrightsummit.ng or NHRC Nigeria Online, @NHRC tweets.