The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Sexual Offenders Register, aimed at documenting names of sexual offenders, will provide database of persons who have been convicted of sexual crimes.
According to her, the UN is committed to supporting governments across the world, including Nigeria, to save girls and women from violent acts.
She explained that the EU and UN launched an ambitious partnership called Spotlight Initiative toward eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls worldwide, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sutainable Development.
The initiative aims to mobilise commitment of political leaders and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and specifically Goal 5 on gender equality and Goal 16 on inclusive and peaceful societies.
It is backed by an initial dedicated financial envelope of 500 million Euros from EU, targeting large-scale investments in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Pacific and the Caribbean, aimed at achieving significant improvements in the lives of women and girls.
She said “it is also encouraging that here in Nigeria, the government is making efforts to bring to book those caught in violent acts against women and children.’’
She noted that reports of sexual violence and abuse against girls and women in IDPs camps, tertiary institutions, forceful marriages and demeaning jobs needed to be urgently tackled by ensuring access to quality education for the girl-child to enable her to make informed choices.
The UN deputy secretary-general pointed out that the 16 days activism against gender based violence with the theme “Generation Equality Stands Against Rape’’ was a call for all to speak out against rape and other forms of violence, as well as ensure necessary actions were taken to curb the menace.
Leymah Roberta Gbowee, a 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate from Liberia and Founder of Gbowee Peace Foundation, stressed the need for government, relevant authorities and other stakeholders to ensure that people at the local level were educated about the sexual offenders register.
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Gbowee said “Mainstreaming Response to Gender Based Violence in the National Discourse,” also emphasisied the need for sustainability and continuity of the Sexual Offenders Register, which she said would bring an end to all forms of gender based violence.
Bob Arnot, the Programme Director, Justice, Security and Conflict, British Council, said the effort was to serve as deterrent to potential offenders and contribute to the reduction of cases of sexual assault, especially against women and girls.
Hajiya Amina Bello, a Gynaecologist and wife of Niger Governor, said children exposed to sexual abuse and violations were at the risk of having mental disorder, risky sexual behavior, juvenile delinquency, drug abuse and others.
Bello, therefore, stressed the need to ensure that sexual assault victims had access to both mental and physical treatment, particularly treatment for STDs, prevention of pregnancy and others.