HURILAWS, LEDAP canvass abolition of death penalty in Nigeria
Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS) and Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) have urged the Federal Government to consider the abolishment of death penalty, which leaves severe trauma on the convicts’ relations.
They noted that the imposition of death penalty on a parent might constitute a violation of the states’ obligations to children against all forms of physical or mental violence under Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
LEDAP and HURILAWS described children whose parent were sentenced to death or executed as “invincible or forgotten” victims of the death penalty, whose experiences ewre often overlooked and rights rarely considered in criminal justice processes.
The Programme Officer, HURILAWS, Collins Okeke, who spoke on the theme for this year’s World Day Against Death Penalty, ‘Children: Unseen Victims of the Death Penalty’, said children of convicts, who often come from poor families and/or minority groups, were more likely to be exposed to abuses and rights violations.
The World Day Against Death Penalty is marked on October 10 to commemorate the campaign for the abolition of death penalty and to raise awareness on the conditions and the circumstances, which affect prisoners with a death sentence.
According to him, the 2018 global report on death sentences and executions by Amnesty International recorded that in Nigeria, at least 19,336 people were on death row.“When a parent is sentenced to death, this sentence has profound impact on the children. The looming threat of execution can prolong and exacerbate issues. If executions take place, it permanently deprives the child of the parental relationship, and it has been found to cause specific trauma.“Some of these issues constitute violations of the rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC),” Okeke said.
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