IOM Advocates Promotion Of Rights To Truth And Justice

By Mnena Iyorkegh, Abuja

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The International Office for Migration (IOM) has called on stakeholders to promote public awareness of the rights to truth and justice for a better and more just society.

The Chief of Mission International Office for Migration (IOM) Nigeria Laurent Boeck, made the call at the commemoration of the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The objective of this year’s international day for the Right of the Truth is to honor the memory of victims of gross and systematic human rights violations; pay tribute to those who have devoted their lives and loss theirs lives in the struggle to promote and protect human rights in the North-East Nigeria by establishing truth and reconciliation committee for sustainable peace.

Empowering and healing force

The Chief of Mission IOM, Nigeria, Laurent De Boeck said that truth is an empowering and healing force that must be embraced by all.

“This day is a global call for promoting the right to the truth which implies knowing the full and complete as to event that transpired, a lot remain to be done. We must recognized that the pursuit of truth and justice is a long and challenging journey, but it is on that w musty undertake if we are to build a better and more   just society. It is our duty to ensure that the truth is revealed and that those responsible for human rights abuses are held accountable for their actions.

Mr. Boeck said the IOM with partners were supporting Nigeria in implementing the Borno model.

“The international humanitarian community works hand in hand with federal and state governments of Nigeria to deliver on daily basis a large emergency response to crisis affected population. In Nigerian North East where millions of people have been displaced by Non-State Armed Groups conflict, IOM is providing emergency humanitarian aid, including non- food items. IOM in coordination with UNDP, UNODC an UNICEF, is willing to support the government for the implementation of the Borno Model, a local driven initiative that seeks to address the impact of the insurgency in Northeast Nigeria. The model emphasises the importance of community engagement and participation in the process of addressing the needs of victims and promoting reconciliation,” he stated.

According to the Executive Secretary National Human Right Commission, Tony Ojukwu, the concept of the right to truth faces challenges of political will.

“In Nigeria context, the implementation of the concept of the right to truth has faced significant challenges due to a lack of political will among government officials, institutional capacity, lack of resources, and engagement with Civil Society Organisations. It is therefore necessary to effectively and practically implement the concept so that we can change the narrative in Nigeria. We call on all stakeholders to make use of this opportunity to promote public awareness and understanding of the right to truth and the importance of seeking justice in cases of gross human rights violations in order to put a stop these violations and bring closure to the trauma experienced by families and individuals who are faced with the disappearance of their loved ones under unknown circumstances in the country’’. He said.

Mr. Ojukwu, also noted that Nigeria is on the right track towards taking effective measures to protect and promote the human rights.

“This frameworks reflect that the right to truth is also fundamental right that promotes accountability, transparency, and justice. It is worthy of note that Nigeria is party to many international human rights instruments including those that protect the right to the truth by implication”. He noted

Importance of the right

The day is observed  each year, on the 24 March,  to honour the memory of victims of gross and systematic human rights violations and promote the importance of the right to truth and justice; This annual observance also paid tribute to the memory of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero, who was murdered on the 24th of March in 1980.

He was known for actively engaging in the denouncing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable individuals in El Salvador.

The Day, celebrated in Nigeria for the first time, started with awareness work by stakeholders and workshop to promote the ideals of the day. The Day celebrated in Nigeria for the first time, started with awareness work by stakeholders and workshop to promote the ideals of the day.


Lateefah Ibrahim

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