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Rights council probes detention centres

31 October 2013, 08:29Augustine Osayande

Abuja - The Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission has approved the establishment of a unit to deal exclusively with human rights crimes and mass atrocities.

This follows the council’s meeting in Abuja.

“Within the framework of the strategic planning process and to enable the Commission to optimally fulfill its statutory roles with respect to human rights crimes and mass atrocities, Council decided to authorize the establishment within the Commission of a Unit with responsibility for Human Rights Crimes and Mass Atrocities,” read a communiqué issued after the meeting.

In addition, the council established 11 thematic priorities for the Commission over the next triennium.

The priorities include vulnerable communities, migration, forced displacement and trafficking in persons, gender, citizenship, equality and non-discrimination, economic, social and cultural rights, food security, climate change and environment, law enforcement, violence and security, freedom of expression, communication and the media, freedom of religion and conscience, human rights, business and regulatory agencies and impunity and access to remedies.

The council also established and designated mandates for Special Procedures/Rapporteurs who should have responsibility to provide leadership in the work of the Commission, including monitoring, reporting of violations, liaison with advocates and partners, and, where appropriate, interventions and remedies.

Reflecting its concern for the proliferation of ungazetted detention centres among various agencies in the public sector in different parts of the country, Council established a three-person working group to lead an audit of detention centres and places of detention in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the council considered plans to conduct a Public Inquiry on Demolitions and Forced Evictions in Nigeria and authorized that the hearings shall take place successively in four venues around the country, namely, Abuja, Enugu, Kano and Lagos.

Council designated a three-person panel to lead its sittings in Lagos, where the initial sitting of the inquiry shall convene on November 18-21.

– CAJ News


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