July 16, 2024
Nigeria committed to end sexual and gender-based violence ― Malami
– By Godswill Odiong

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By Godswill Odiong
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, has expressed the commitment of Nigeria towards ensuring an end to sexual and gender-based violence in the country.

He said the Federal Government has made far-reaching policy, institutional and legislative measures to curb the growing menace of SGBV offences in our communities.

 

The AGF disclosed this at the capacity building workshop for Justices and Judges of Nigerian Courts on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Abuja, recently.

He said the Federal Government, through active collaboration with women groups and gender rights activists, enacted a landmark legislation, the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act of 2015 (VAPP).

“The objectives of this law are to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibit all forms of violence, including physical, sexual, psychological, domestic, harmful traditional practices, discrimination against persons and to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders. This legislation has now been passed and adopted as State Laws in 34 out of the 36 States of the Federation.

“The President directed a targeted government response to the SGBV problem, predominantly in the area of access to justice with the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation taking the lead.

“The judiciary plays a critical role in the criminal justice response to SGBV. It is uniquely placed to ensure that relevant criminal laws on SGBV are interpreted and applied with gender sensitivity and in appropriate language having regard to the victim’s age, educational level, cultural background, physical or mental disabilities.

He said the workshop will support our judicial officers in tackling gendered violence by improving access to justice for victims of SGBV, and in the process, reduce the risk of their secondary victimization.

He said the capacity building programme will further aid our Judges in developing insights into the emerging SGBV challenges namely: Conflict Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) and School Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV). CRSV in Nigeria occurs in the context of the Boko Haram war which is being prosecuted as terrorism (a federal offence) in North-eastern part of Nigeria.

Malami noted that there is need to train judges from the States in the conflict-ridden zone on the nature and context of CSRV offences for a gender sensitive adjudication of these type of cases.

He disclosed that the Federal Government will continue to seek ways to support the Judiciary in developing its capacities, particularly to invest in technologies that are necessary to automate vital aspects of court operations and implement a digital justice delivery system.

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