A recent forum for marginalised communities was held to raise communities’ awareness of their human rights and ensure easier access to the justice system.

The V2P project has found that lack of information and difficulties in reporting human rights abuses are two of the major barriers to people seeking justice in Anambra State.

It is essential that women, girls and other marginalised groups are aware of their human rights and the laws that protect them, and have easy access to agencies and services set up to handle such abuses.

Through its toll-free line 0800PEOPLEVOICE and log books, V2P has received 52 reports of human rights abuses. The project works closely with law enforcement agencies and uses its highly effective links with both the community and the state to ensure reports are passed on to the appropriate authorities and followed up.

V2P partner JDPC Onitsha, in partnership with the Anambra Ministry of Justice, recently held a forum for marginalised groups to find out how to deal effectively with human rights issues. It was attended by representatives from the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and

Other Related Matters (NAPTIP), the Department of State Services (DSS), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Nigerian Police Force.

Those gathered agreed that:
• Anambra should intensify efforts to eradicate injustice within the state and beyond
• the state should monitor the activities of law enforcement agencies, especially the police
• all human rights abuses and injustices should be sent to the relevant agencies for redress
• the Ministry of Justice should as a matter of urgency create a hotline for citizens’ reports and complaints, or adopt the one introduced by V2P
• Anambra state and civil society organisations should create opportunities to educate people about
complaints procedures
• all communities should document all forms of abuses and human rights issues for reporting to the relevant agency or ministry
• the media should create content where human rights issues are raised
• the Ministry of Justice, NAPTIP and NHRC should work with civil society organisations and communities to promote citizens’ access to justice.

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