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NHRC seeks to establish rehabilitation centres for torture victims


NHRC seeks to establish rehabilitation centres for torture victims

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)  will seek the advice of Experts on the guidelines to establish rehabilitation centres for victims of torture.

The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, SAN made this known on Thursday during a said public presentation of Torture Prevention Resource Materials and Documentary in Abuja.

The event was organised by NHRC, Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action ( PRAWA )and the International Rehabilitation Council For Torture Victims (first) in commemoration of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The UN Day in Support of Victims of Torture is an international observance held annually on June 26 to speak out against the crimes of torture and to honour and support victims and survivors throughout the world.

Speaking at the event which was held virtually, Ojukwu, reaffirmed that torture is a criminal act and its prohibition is absolute and that victims are entitled to redress.

“Redress and rehabilitation are not charity; they are rights under international law.

“Justice for the victims of torture does not end with punishment for the offenders but rehabilitation of the victims,” he said.

He said that the commission would continue to engage relevant partners to make sure offenders are held responsible.

Ojukwu thanked PRAWA for the materials which he said could be a means to enable people to know about their rights.

He said the provisions of sections 7 and 8 of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017 should be a reference point.

” These materials will enable people to understand torture as a violation of fundamental human rights.

” It will be a helpful material for law enforcement agents, security agents and the justice sector.

Similarly, Dr Uju Agomoh, Executive Director, PRAWA said there is a need to say no to torture and as well as criminalise it.

She said it is not enough to sign and ratify these laws but there should be responsiblity for the realization of the goal.

Agomoh said the recommendations of the United Nations committee on Anti-Torture (CAT) should be implemented and followed up to the letter.

Also contributing, Ms Lisa Henry, Secretary-General of IRCT said her organisation is committed to seeing that torture victims are rehabilitated.

” IRCT is powered by the engagement of over 160 civil society members, who strive to make this world a better place by eradicating torture and providing holistic, health-based rehabilitation for those who have every right to that service.

” With over 160 member centres in 76 countries, we are the largest membership-based civil society organisation working in the field of torture rehabilitation, she said.

She said rehabilitation helps them regain their dignity and humanity and helps them speak up again and countries should key into it.

Henry also thanked NHRC and PRAWA for the unveiling of the resource materials and documentary.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the materials unveiled included Convention against Torture, Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, Anti-Torture Act, 2017 and its translation in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.

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