By Khadija Aliyu
According to united nations children’s fund (UNICEF),human rights are standards that recognize and protect the dignity of all human beings.
Scholars define human rights as basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth to death.
While united nations (UN),describe human rights as
“Rights we have simply because we exist as human beings, they are not granted by any state. These universal rights are not inherent to us all, regardless of nationality, sex, nation or ethnic origin, color, religion, language or any other status”
The universal declaration of human rights (UDHR),adopted by the united nations general assembly in 1948,was the first legal document to set out the fundamental human rights to be universally protected.
Furthermore,the UDHR, which turned 70 in 2018,continues to be the foundation of all international human rights law. It’s 30 articles provide the principles and building blocks of current and future human rights conventions, treaties and other legal instruments.
Human rights in Nigeria are protected under the 1999 constitution while Nigeria has made major improvements in human rights under this constitution.
The national human rights commission in Nigeria,is established by the National human rights act of 1995 as amended in 2010 for the promotion and protection of all human rights.
The commission has the mandate ot deal with all matters relating to the protection of human rights as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution and other international treaties to which Nigeria is a party.
Meanwhile,the 2010 amendment paved way for the commission to exercise quasi judicial powers to summon persons,acquire evidence,award compensation and enforce it’s decisions among others.
In Nigeria,rights of women face severe challenges despite governments efforts,discrimination aginst women is still rampant.
Also,in spite of the constitutional guarantee,NHRC continue to recieve significant number of complaints alleging torture,inhuman and degrading treatment,extra judicial killings alleged aginst the Nigeria police force,various joint task forces (JTF),and armed militant groups.
To bring an end to human rights violations,the national human rights commission awarded a total of #146 million as compensations to 27 petitioners for the brutalities,harrasment,extortion, extrajudicial killing of their loved ones by the disbanded special anti robbery squad (SARS) and other police units in Abuja.
While handing out the cheques to the victims,the executive secretary of the national human rights commission,Tony Ojukwu explained that the Justice Sulaiman Galadima (rtd) led panel made the monetary compensation as part of recommendations to the commission.
“NHRC was determined to the protection of human rights in Nigeria,and it is part of it’s mandate to ensure compensations are paid ot victims who have suffered human rights violation.Where there is a violation there must be remedy”
Similarly the northwest zonal commander of the national human rights commission Shehu Abdullahi said NHRC recieved a total number of 1,027 cases in Kano from january to December 2021.
” 70% of the total complaints recieved by the Kano office of the national human rights commission are on family matters,especially denial of parental responsibilities and paternity”
He said there’s a reduction on the number of human rights violations that involve law enforcement agencies due to the tireless efforts of the federal government in reforming the Nigerian security agencies.
The northwest zonal coordinator pointed out that,the commission has commenced sensitization campaigns,and advocacy visits across the 44 local government areas, town hall meetings,media activities, engagements with civil societies and community based organizations,religious and traditional leaders.