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Discouraging human rights’ abuse



INTERNATIONAL Human Rights Day is being observed every 10th of December, yearly. The United Nations defined 30 articles of Human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It established universal Human Rights on the basis of humanity, freedom, justice and peace. This year, the world commemorates Human Rights month under the theme: “The year of Indigenous Language: Promoting and Deepening Human Rights’ Culture”.

Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, right to a standard of living, adequately for the health. So we need to stand up for our own rights daily.

In an interview with National Light,  Judith Mokwe, a legal practitioner and Chief State Counsel, Citizens Rights Directorate, Government House Complex, Awka, Anambra State, stated that Human Rights Day is a day the United Nations General Assembly set aside for the honour, adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

She said she  would not use the word ‘celebrating’ but would rather use ‘marking’. In her own view, the International Day Human Rights Day was not worth celebrating, considering the wanton abuse of human rights in Nigeria, but it is worth marking. “There is a need to mark the day to remind ourselves of our basic and fundamental human rights as provided in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, as well as other International Human Rights treaties adopted by the United Nations”.

She explained that the day signifies a day when the world commemorates and honour those who fought for the liberation and the rights we enjoy today. “Therefore, it is also a day for reflecting on the status our societal response to human rights laws and its violations by individuals, government personnel or agencies, corporations, etc. It also includes an in-depth reflection into remedies available to persons whose human rights have been violated and the effective collaboration and synergy by all the various arms of government and sectors concerned with human rights related issues.

Judith observed that the incessant violation of human rights in Nigeria could be remedied by independence of the judiciary, Making of legislations that enhance and uphold the tenets of our fundamental human rights, having more awareness and enlightenment programmes on human rights and appropriate checkmate on agencies or bodies involved in wanton violation of human rights.

“Every Nigerian is a stakeholder with respect to human rights in Nigeria, so every person that violates the human rights of another, whether as an individual or as an agent of the government is to be blamed. Any of government that allows itself to be used as an agent of violation of human right is to be blamed.  Every arm or agent of government that does not make effective use of its stake in human rights related matters is to be blamed”, she said.

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