Nigeria intensifies campaign against sexual violence & launches sex offender register

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Close-Up Of Hands With Handcuffs Against Black Background - stock photo
Close-Up Of Hands With Handcuffs Against Black Background – stock photoiolence 

Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons intensified the campaign against sexual violence by launching a sex offender register on Monday.

Sadiya Umar-Farouq, minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, said the newly launched register can document names of sexual violence culprits and would go a long way in exposing the perpetrators of the crime.

She said sexual violence has been a great challenge in Nigeria, especially in the northern part of the country. UN recently released a report claiming at least 1 in 3 women are either physically or sexually abused. 

“Cases of violence, including gender-based ones, are exhibited by people and are not being reported nor investigated,” she said. “Women and adolescents are being violated on many occasions at different places due to their helpless state and in many cases, the culprits are people known to the victims.”

Leymah Roberta Gbowee, a Nobel laureate from Liberia, said the launch of the register would mark the end of impunity for violence against women in the country.

Gbowee called for the translation of the register into Nigerian local languages.

Ketil Kalson, head of the European Union delegation to Nigeria, said sexual violence is a global phenomenon that requires collaborative effort of everyone.

“This is a great step because it will go a long way to help in curbing the menace, as no one would want his name to appear in the register,” Kalson said.

According to a report from the United Nations Children’s Fund, one in four girls and one in 10 boys in Nigeria have been victims of sexual violence.

South Africa has equally taken a stance to combat sexual offenders by reopening unsolved sexual offense cases. President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke Monday during the launch of 16 days of activism for an issue on which he says South Africans “have lost our way.”

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