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P1020523The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria is a Non-Governmental, Non-Profit Organization made up of women lawyers which was formed in 1964....

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-To enhance and promote the welfare of women and children, realizing that on women and children’s well being depend the happiness of the home and strength of the society.

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map FIDA Nigeria’s membership is drawn from all over the country, with over 2,500 members who are female lawyers.

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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE STAKEHOLDERS WORKSHOP ON THE VAPP ACT IN RIVERS

participants of the workshopIntroduction

Following over 14 years of advocacy, popularisation and sensitisation on the provisions of the VAPP Act, the Act was enacted as an Act of the Nigerian National Assembly in 2015. Since then, only a few States of the federation have adopted the Act as a State Law therefore impeding progress of nationwide implementation of the provisions of the Act.

The stakeholders’ workshop seeks to address the problem of slow implementation of the provisions of the VAPP Act by intensifying on-going advocacy efforts aimed at adoption of the Act in Rivers States. The VOICE project is an initiative by the Netherland Ministry of Foreign Affairs implemented by FIDA Nigeria.

The workshop had in attendance about ninety-five stakeholders representing various government ministries and parastatals, law enforcement, members of the bar and bench, CSOs and the general public.

At the end of all deliberations, a 12-man committee was constituted to carry out advocacy visits to major stakeholders. They include representatives from:

1. Ministry of Justice

2. The Judiciary

3. Nigerian Prisons

4. National Orientation Agency

5. Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN)

6. Nigerian Bar association

7. Child Protection Network

8. Nigerian Police

9. Ministry of Social of Social Welfare

10. Ministry of Women Affairs

11. National Association of women Journalist (NAWOJ)

12. Representative of FIDA Rivers State Branchkey personalities at the  workshop

The following recommendations were agreed by the participants. They include:

1. That some provisions in the Act be modified in line with the existing realities.

2. That the provisions of this act be reduced to our local languages.

3. That more aggressive and effective campaign/sensitization should carried out by FIDA and other Stakeholders with particular attention to the waterfront areas.

4. That the act should make specific provisions for religious violence and penalties for grievous offences should be stiffer.

5. That there should be provision for adequate education for prison inmate.

6. That there should be adequate training on the education of all citizens on the rights and protections.

7. That there is for the training of the Nigerian Police as one of the principal actors in the adoption of the VAPP Act.

8. That the Act will be realities as Rivers State already has certain laws in place that relate with the ones already provided for in the Act and that everyone should be ready to make contributions during public.

9. That the suggestion and contributions should be in writing and sent through FIDA to the office of the Permanent Secretary/ Solicitor General, Rivers State Ministry of Justice.

10. That Traditional Rulers and the youth leaders should be made compulsory stakeholders to ensure dissemination of information within their communities.

11. That a monitoring team should be set up to what happens at the Police Station.

12. That there should be adequate information on reporting system i.e. where people can report cases of violence.

Conclusion

The project will address issue of violence that affect the daily existence of all person particularly indigent women, girls, children and other vulnerable groups. Adoption of the VAPP Act in Rivers state will empower the women, children and other vulnerable groups to attain their full potential and also encourage free participation in the political space.

Opening remarks by Mrs. Marian   Wokocha

 

 

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