The Nigerian Government has a clear policy framework in place to address the sexual abuse, violence and exploitation suffered by women and girls, including The Child Rights Act and the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act. But neither has been ratified in all Nigerian states.
How we are helping
This project will involve close work with the Government of Nigeria to implement and improve the effectiveness of existing legislation in five states.
About the project
Survey data collected in 2013 in Nigeria provides just a glimpse of the burden of violence shouldered by women: 28 per cent of women aged 15-49 have experienced some form of sexual violence. Of the woman surveyed, one in ten had experienced physical and/or sexual violence in the last 12 months alone.
The Government of Nigeria has a clear policy framework in place to address the sexual abuse, violence and exploitation suffered by women and girls, including The Child Rights Act (CRA) and the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP). But neither has been ratified in all Nigerian states and serious problems persist throughout the country. For example, there has been an alarming rise in reports of so-called ‘baby factories’, in which women are forced to give birth to children who are then taken from them and sold into illegal adoption and potentially also for exploitation. Other reports suggest a worrying rise in the normalisation of abuse in educational settings.
Grants partner Youth Alive Foundation have identified what they believe to be the principal obstacles to the first step of ratification: a lack of coordinated advocacy, low public awareness, and prevailing cultural beliefs.
This project aims to work with government to strengthen and improve the effectiveness and implementation of existing legislation and policy frameworks in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria and across the states of Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo and Lagos. It will build the capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) to advocate at national and state levels for the domestication of the VAPP Act and strengthen the implementation and enforcement of the CRA to protect women and girls.
This will be achieved by:
- Establishing a multi-stakeholder coalition of CSOs, female student associations, school authorities, women’s rights organisations, and the media to coordinate efforts, mobilise support and drive national and state-based advocacy campaigns
- Mapping the existing legal and policy frameworks to identify gaps
- Conducting stakeholder analysis to determine the level of support for the domestication and implementation of the VAPP Act, CRA and other relevant laws and policies on violence against women and girls
- Building the capacity of women, community leaders, media and CSOs to better understand state and international laws on violence against women and children
- Building the capacity of CSOs and women’s rights advocates to collect, analyse and document data on violence against women and girls, and monitor the implementation of existing legislation
- Developing policy briefs and conducting advocacy visits and policy dialogues with state and federal legislators
- Working with government officials and development partners to develop implementation guidelines for the CRA and VAPP Act
- Developing and implementing public awareness and evidence-based advocacy campaigns for the domestication of existing laws and policies
It is anticipated that the experience and lessons drawn from this project will have the potential to be replicated and expanded to other states in Nigeria.
Youth Alive Foundation (YAF) is a non-profit civil society organisation (CSO) that has worked with young people for over 15 years. Its main activities include policy advocacy, civic engagement, employability, social innovation, and gender and social inclusion. YAF has significant experience in policy and legislative advocacy and played a key role in the advocacy for the passage of the Anti-Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Institutions Bill. It recently helped anchor a coalition of over 50 CSOs to drive the advocacy for the successful passing of a Bill in the Akwa Ibom state assembly to establish a Youth Development Fund from a percentage of oil revenue.
International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA), Nigeria has extensive knowledge on the legal framework that protects children and women and they will build the capacities of CSOs on these provisions and act as a key referral channel between CSOs, communities and the courts. They will also provide pro-bono legal services on selected cases.
Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) Nigeria seeks to advance and protect the rights of women as provided by national laws and policies, regional and international treaties and agreement through an integrated approach that entrenches respect for the human dignity of the woman as well as her inclusion in decisions that affect her life and the development of her community. It provides legal aid and counselling, adult literacy classes, civic education programs, and skills training for women's economic empowerment.
Legislative Advocacy Coalition on Violence Against Women (LACVAW) is a coalition of diverse groups in civil society working on various aspects of women’s human rights, particularly, violence against women. The coalition was formed in response to the need to bring together and amplify the voices of NGOs across the country, particularly those that were proposing Bills at the State and National Assemblies on issues of domestic violence, harmful traditional practices and inheritance rights.
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