NHRC tasks stakeholders to rollback COVID-19, coordinates Nigeria’s input to SDGs review 2021

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The National Human Rights Commission has called on the government at all levels and other stakeholders to expedite efforts to rollback COVID-19 pandemic particularly among the vulnerable group including women, children, older persons and Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs).

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu. who stated this at a stakeholders’ workshop in Abuja titled, “Analysis of survey on the level of achievement on child rights & SDGs: Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria”, noted that the survey has become very imperative in view of the second wave of the pandemic in the country.Ojukwu stated that Government obligation under the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) represented the highest global commitment to a bright future for the world’s children and that more attention should be paid towards protecting the rights of children from the gaps and challenges occasioned by the pandemic.According to the Chief Human Rights Officer in Nigeria, “the COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating consequences for children and risks which tend to reverse decades of progress realised for their rights.The NHRC Boss therefore expressed concern that while children who contract COVID-19 seemed to have fewer symptoms and low mortality rates, severe knock-on impacts were affecting children, including the socio-economic consequences and grave physical, emotional and psychological effects.He further observed that with the COVID-19 pandemic, children face heightened threats of witnessing or experiencing physical and psychological violence, including maltreatment and sexual and gender violence.In some cases, the Executive Secretary observed that “children are increasingly being pushed into child labour and early or forced marriage, exploitation and trafficking.“In fact, there are many challenges facing children at every stage of their development and the recent pandemic has worsened the gaps in their education now exacerbated by poor access to online learning, leaving the few that have access with the challenge of increased exposure to inappropriate content and online predators”, Ojukwu stated.The stakeholders’ workshop was held to gather the necessary inputs to draft a national report on children’s rights to be submitted at the 2021 global review of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.It will be recalled that at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic early in the year, the NHRC issued various human rights advisories and guidelines to the various agencies of government including the law enforcement agencies and health care provides towards protecting the rights of women, children, older persons, PWDs and the general public despite the emergency.Stakeholders at the workshop included: Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, NAPTIP, FIDA, CLEEN Foundation, FIDA, Save the Children, Maidunama Sickle Cell Foundation, Global Rights, Child Care Trust, Slum 2 School, Child Rights Awareness Creation Organisation, Street Child Care and Welfare Initiative, UNODC, Action Aid and Sexual Offenses Awareness & Victims Rehabilitation Initiative among other

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