UN designs legal framework to accelerate justice
The often scarce Justice for rape victims in Nigeria may soon be a thing of the past as the United Nation’s spotlight initiative for sexual and Gender-based violence, (SGBV), has designed a special legal framework to address legal hurdles in prosecuting rape suspects.
A representative of the United Nations Development Partner (UNDP) Mr Simon Ridley disclosed this recently at the Headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Abuja.
Ridley said the framework was needed for the promotion of system level in terms of laws that were vital in addressing SGBV.
He, therefore, urged countries to review the application of their extant laws to law enforcement agencies to address issues of violence against women.
Other experts attributed tradition, delay in investigating rape cases in Nigeria among others to be responsible for the slow pace of justice for rape cases.
According to reports from the Nigeria Demographic Health Survey, there were the lowest rates of seek-help behaviour in the country.
“It is even common for health providers and justice and security officials to look the other way and ignore cases of GBV,” the report highlighted.
The report also held that Help-seeking behaviour was at its lowest level in Nigeria’s North East Geopolitical Zone, adding that 23 percent of female survivors of intimate partner violence had sought help.
A cross section of legal experts also said that the complexity of the laws of rape which the onus was on the victim to provide the relevant evidence made it difficult to pull through sometimes.
Also, a victim of rape who spoke to the Guardian on the ground of anonymity said, “besides contending with the challenges from the police when you rape, the justice system is harsh and burdensome for a rape victim due to our culture.”
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