Lack of information and difficult channels of reporting have been identified through activities of the V2P project as two of the major barriers in accessing justice in Anambra State for communities and individuals.
In dealing with human rights issues as relate to women and girls and other marginalised groups within the communities, it is essential that these groups are aware about the laws that protect them as well as have easy access to the agencies which have been set up to handle issues that cause an infringement of their rights.
Voice to the People has through its toll-free line, 0800PEOPLEVOICE received a number of human rights abuse reports which have been channelled to the appropriate authorities. The project is working closely with law enforcement agencies, using its highly effective community to state linkages to ensure that issues from the communities are passed on to appropriate authorities in the State and are followed up to ensure government responsiveness.
Therefore, JDPC Onitsha in partnership with the Anambra State Ministry of Justice held a citizens enlightenment forum on accessing justice. The forum not only provided information to communities present, but also served to open up spaces for marginalised groups to effectively deal with human rights issues. In addition to other support provided by V2P partners, CRC, JDPC Awka, JDPC Nnewi and JDPC Onitsha, this will create a sustainable way for communities to take up issues that cannot be properly handled at the community level. It was attended by representatives from National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP), Department of State Services (DSS), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Nigerian Police Force.
V2P will continue to support its communities by providing civic and human rights education, creating linkages, opening up spaces and building the capacity of community members to engage with authorities for fair treatment.
To read the communique issued at the forum, please click Communique -Citizens Access to Justice and below are the resolutions made.
The followings were agreed upon after deliberations and enlightenment:
1. That Anambra State should intensify effort towards eradication of injustice within the boundaries of the State and beyond
2. That the State should as a matter of necessity monitor the activities of law enforcement agencies especially the police force in the State.
3. That all human rights abuses and injustices should be appropriately channelled to the relevant agencies for redress.
4. That Anambra State Government through Ministry of Justice should as a matter of urgency create a hotline for citizens’ reports and complaints or adopt the existing ones introduced by V2P project.
5. That Anambra State and CSOs should be create more platforms for education and awareness creation on complainant procedure and mechanisms
6. That all community should document/ keep record of all forms of abuses and human right issues for upwards reporting to relevant agency or Ministry.
7. That the media should create programmes where human right issues will be raised and possible solution preferred
8. That the Ministry of Justice, National Agency on Prohibition against Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and National Human Right Commission (NHRC) should work with CSOs and the communities to promote citizens access to Justice.
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