Nigeria: Govt dragged to ECOWAS Court over suffering of IDPs

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigerian NGO Socio-Economic Rights & Accountability Project (SERAP) has dragged the country's federal government to the ECOWAS Community Court in the capital city of Abuja over “immense suffering of Internally Displaced Persons across the country”.

According to a SERAP statement obtained by PANA here Tuesday, the suit was filed last week by the Solicitor to SERAP, Mr. Femi Falana.

The Plaintiff alleged “serious violations by the Defendants of the human rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to life, to health, to adequate housing, to personal integrity, to privacy, to fair trial, to freedom of movement and residence, to judicial guarantees, to private property and child rights guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa; and  Principles 1-30 of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.”

“The response by the Nigerian government to the conditions of IDPs is fragmented and inadequate, as illustrated by Defendants’ closure of several displacement camps in central and northern areas of Nigeria. Those living in camps are often left without enough food, essential household items or health facilities.

“The increased vulnerability of IDPs across Nigeria demands accountability and greater level of respect for the full and effective realization and enjoyment of IDPs rights in Nigeria. The ‘crisis of security’ created by forced internal displacement leaves IDPs unprotected, with women and children disproportionately affected. This condition of special vulnerability creates an obligation for the Nigerian government to adopt positive measures to ensure protection and security for IDPs, even when the displacement is caused by the actions of third parties,” the suit read in part.

Among the reliefs being sought from the ECOWAS Court of Justice by the Plaintiff is a declaration that the failure and/or lack of due diligence by Nigerian government to proactively and effectively implement and promote IDP policies and allocate sufficient resources to IDP protection and the corresponding failure to effectively address the magnitude of the problem, is unlawful as it constitutes serious breaches of Nigeria’s human rights obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right and other international conventions.

It is also seeking a declaration that the failure and/or lack of due diligence by the Nigerian government to proactively pursue the rehabilitation of surviving victims and the corresponding continuing exposure of victims to violence, abuse, marginalisation, impoverishment and social disarticulation caused by their loss of residence, property and livelihood is unlawful as it violates the right to life, and to the security; dignity of the human person, and the right to health guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

PANA reports that the ongoing insurgency in Nigeria's North-east by the terror group Boko Haram has displaced thousands of people and forced them to take shelter in temporary camps scattered across the region.
-0- PANA SEG 12May2015

12 مايو 2015 10:25:16

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