The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Tony Ojukwu Esqr, said the Commission in collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), will focus on monitoring of detention facilities under the 2019 IDPs Protection Monitoring Project, which is being implemented by both organizations.
Ojukwu made this disclosure at a three-day training of Protection Monitors in the North East.
At the training which took place in Yola at the instance of the NHRC in Collaboration with the UNHCR, the human rights Boss said “we need to bring into focus people who have come in conflict with the law due to displacement, and consequently find themselves in prisons and other detention centers.
He said relevant topics have been incorporated in the training modules to fully equip monitors on the adequate skills for effective monitoring and documentation, focusing on minimum standard rules of treatment of prisoners and access to justice.
He admonished monitors to bring to fore issues that are under-reported or go unnoticed, as they are capable of fostering the violation of the rights of the displaced persons.
Though Ojukwu noted that “most of the displaced persons are returning home now” contrary to what happened at the upsurge of violence in the North East “where tens of thousands of innocent civilians were displaced from their communities” he lamented that their humanitarian needs still remain enormous.
According to the UNHCR Country Representative in Nigeria, protecting the IDPs is not complete without provision of solutions to their protection issues.
Represented by Mr. Tejan Cole who is with the UNHCR office in Yola, the Country Rep said communities should be able to provide solutions to their problems by identifying, documenting and referring problems without the presence of the NHRC/UNHCR.
He said with improvement in the security situation in the project states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, the NHRC/UNHCR will not be with the communities of the Population of concern forever.
He added that it therefore becomes imperative for them to leverage on the existing relationship already established with relevant agencies to seek redress or succor on protection issues where necessary.
Some protection monitors applauded the training saying it serve as a refresher course which will enhance their performance on the field.
About fifty protection monitors were trained from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe State.