Adoption of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill

The Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill was drafted as a response to concerns about the consistent failure of Nigerian authorities to adopt and implement a legal framework to address and prevent sexual violence. The aim of the bill is to eliminate the occurrence of gender- based violence in Nigeria. The bill has been rejected twice in the past year. It has been passed by the House of Representatives, and is waiting to be passed by the Senate.

WILPF therefore suggests the following recommendation for the UPR of Nigeria:

  • That the Violence Against Person’s Prohibition (VAPP) Bill is passed by the Senate.
Support to victims of acts of gender-based violence

Violence against women is rising in Nigeria with the Police reporting in 2011 that only 28% of rape cases were reported. The proliferation of small arms in Nigeria has facilitated violence against women and human rights abuses against women. During Nigeria’s first UPR in 2009, the Human Rights Council recommended Nigeria to pass laws to protect women and stressed the need for an effective legal and justice system, responsive to women’s needs and that secures access to justice.

WILPF therefore suggests the following recommendations for the UPR of Nigeria:

  • To create and implement an effective legal aid programme to increase women’s access to justice through the provision of support before, during and after trial.
  • To apply a multisectoral approach in providing holistic services to survivors of violence against women and girls that ensures effective delivery of services including medical, psychological, psycho-social, trauma rehabilitation, economic empowerment and legal services to women who need them in pursuing justice to end impunity.
National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325

National Action Plans on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (SCR1325) are effective tools for realizing the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda through national coordination. We welcome the launch of Nigeria’s National Action Plan in August 2013. However, we stress the importance of allocating funds to effectively implement it.

WILPF therefore suggests the following recommendation for the UPR of Nigeria:

  • Allocate special funds to fast track the process of implementing a national Action Plan on SCR 1325.
Control of arms trade

Arms flows have a destabilizing effect on conflict regions. The proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) fuels armed groups and promotes sexual violence and insecurity. The resulting insecurity also compromises women’s capacity to participate to public life and reveals threats to human security and violations of human rights. The proliferation of SALW in Nigeria is very high, it is estimated that over 70% of illicit weapons in West Africa are located in Nigeria. For this reason, we welcome the ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by Nigeria on 12 August 2013. Nigeria is the only African country that has signed and ratified this treaty. Taking into cognisance the important role Nigeria has been playing on this matter, it is pertinent that she demonstrates clear leadership on arms control in the region.

WILPF therefore suggests the following recommendations for the UPR of Nigeria:

  • Adopt a strict control of small arms to ensure that they are not used to commit or facilitate a violation of international humanitarian law or human rights, including acts of gender-based violence, as mandated by the Arms Trade Treaty.
  • Domesticate all ratified treaties on small arms control, including the Arms Trade Treaty and the ECOWAS Convention on small arms, and put in place a National Commission on small arms control.
Explosive weapons

According to recent studies by Action on Armed Violence, Nigeria is the fifth most violent State in the world in terms of explosive violence. In 2011 alone, 55 recorded explosive incidents took place, with 857 recorded casualties, 90% of which were deemed to be civilians. In addition to causing major direct harm to its victims, explosive violence also causes great harms indirectly, severely destroying infrastructure and aggravating existing human rights violations.

In the words of Annakiya, a Nigerian woman who was herself the victim of a major bomb blast in Abuja: “When we are always talking about women being caught up in these insurgencies and explosions and conflict, we need concrete data to discuss it intelligently on a factual basis. For example, hospitals can be approached for data on injuries suffered due to explosive weapons, disaggregated by sex.”

WILPF therefore suggests the following recommendation for the UPR of Nigeria:

  • Develop policies that will effectively protect the population from being harmed by the use of any type of explosive weapons in populated areas, including investigating and prosecuting such use of explosive weapons, providing redress and assistance to victims of explosive weapons, and collecting and providing data on the use of explosive weapons in Nigeria disaggregated by sex and age group, as well as weapon type used.

Contact us:

María Muñoz Maraver, WILPF International: mmunoz(a) or rights(a)

Joy Onyesoh, WILPF Nigeria: dzoious(a)