Happy Human Rights Day

2020 Theme: Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

The UDHR is a milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts. We will reach our common global goals only if we are able to create equal opportunities for all, address the failures exposed and exploited by COVID-19, and apply human rights standards to tackle entrenched, systematic, and intergenerational inequalities, exclusion and discrimination.

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LIRAD in collaboration with Centre for Liberty kick against secret passage of Social media bill

It is gathered that the Senate was planning to pass the Social Media Bill in secret, and this has prompted the Centre for Liberty, a coalition of human rights groups, to stage a protest on Wednesday.

There has been widespread rejection of the bill by Nigerians and a secret passage of the bill would negatively impact people’s trust of the Senate body.

And in reaction to the rumour that the bill would soon be passed in secret, the Centre for Liberty protested with placards bearing inscriptions such as ‘Social Media Bill, Hate Speech Bill a misplacement of priority’, ‘1999 Constitution (as amended) in danger, #SayNoToSocialMediaBill’, ‘Kill the Social Media Bill, Hate Speech Bill Now’, and ‘#InternetNoBeEnemy’.

Raphael Adebayo was the Co-Convener of the Centre for Liberty. And the protesters included Augusta Yaakugh, Executive Director of Lex Initiative for Rights Advocacy and Development (LIRAD), Martin Obono, Executive Director of Tap Initiative, Amarachi Ogwuma from Global Rights.

LIRAD, 406 Other CSOs Task Gov’t To Respect Human Rights, Ensure Transparency in COVID-19 Fight

A coalition of 407 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria have called on the government to ensure transparency and accountability in its disbursement and use of COVID-19-related funds. The CSOs also urged the government to prevent further abuses of human rights by law enforcement agencies.

At an online press briefing on Friday, the group disclosed that it has developed a comprehensive memo to guide the government in its fight against the pandemic. Bukky Shonibare, founder of Girl Child Africa, said, “To augment government efforts, some CSOs have implemented projects to support the poor and vulnerable while raising concerns about areas of improvement. “To articulate these gaps, CSOs in Nigeria have produced a Joint Memo covering eight thematic issues and many recommendations aimed at ensuring more effective and efficient responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria,” she said. The eight focus areas of the document include safeguarding frontline workers, strategy for lockdowns and curfews, access to essential services, composition of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, standardisation, human rights and security, gender equality, and transparency and accountability.


LIRAD and other Coalition of Nigerian Civil Society raise alarm as infectious diseases bill “hurriedly” pass first reading at Parliament

Coalition of Nigerian Civil Society organisations are concerned about the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill currently before the National Assembly. The bill titled ‘Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020’, which was sponsored by Gbajabiamila and his colleagues, Pascal Obi and Tanko Sununu, seeks to empower the Federal Government to convert any property in the country, including private properties, to isolation centres.

The Coalition in a statement signed by 40 members, appeal to members of the National Assembly to provide a comprehensive legal and policy framework that ensures the effective management of circumstances involving infectious diseases; streamlining of public health responseand preparedness;involvement of all tiers of government;and transparency in the management of infectious diseaseswould be a positive development. The bill sponsored by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, hurriedly passed first and second readings on the same day – NewsWireNGR exclusively reported the contents of the bill which led to a nationwide uproar.

The sponsors of the bill, largely plagiarised a similar law on disease control by Singapore but in a statement made available to NewsWireNGR, members of civil society organisations in Nigeria, “are alarmed by the House of Representatives’ attempt to give accelerated passage to such a critical legislation like the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill without consultation and inputs from relevant stakeholders and the public”.