WFD says VAPP Gazette would lead to effective implementation in 12 states

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The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) has challenged 12 state governments to gazette the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) in their respective states in order to effectively implement the law to the protection of persons exposed to violence in these States.

The foundation’s country representative, Adebowale Olorunmola, made the call during a Guidance Note/Passage, Consent, Official Publication, Execution (PAGE) validation analysis meeting in Abuja.

He was represented by Ms Sola Folayan, who told the validation team that the research was an activity under her Global Equality Project (GEP) funded by the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), and is seeking to encourage the protection of women and girls in Nigeria. using the instrument of the law.

The challenge to governors followed findings from research in the 12 focal states on the impact of the VAPP Act commissioned in the country’s six geopolitical zones by the World Foundation for Democracy.

The states are Anambra, Enugu, Abia, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States. The others are Edo, Bauchi, Kaduna, Plateau and Lagos States, as well as Osun State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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Folayan said, “Publishing the law is a necessity for effective implementation and enforcement.

“The validation meeting was held simultaneously in all 12 states and included representatives from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Budget and Planning, SGBV Response Team and civil society organizations.

“The FMS believes that the 12 guidance documents and the PAGE (Passage, Assent, Gazetting, Execution) analysis dashboard will provide factual information and the current context of the VAPP Act, to guide decision makers in facilitating effective engagement towards successful implementation of the law”.

Program Coordinator, Global Equality Project (GEP), Ms. Edidiong Idang, noted the successes of the GEP project during her first assessment of the VAPP Act since its ratification in Nigeria in 2005.

Idang also noted the role of the Nigerian Governors Wives Forum (NGWF) as one such influential organization to drive the process in their respective member state.

She said the group was supported to advance awareness of the law as well as stakeholder engagement for the domestication and effective implementation of the law across Nigeria.

According to her, these influencers were identified by the research findings on which stakeholders who have great influence and interest in advocating for the implementation of the law in Nigeria should be tapped.

“Advocacy for inclusive gender responsive budgeting should be front and center now that many states in Nigeria have passed, approved, published and are implementing the VAPP Act,” she said.

Presenting the policy briefs, Senior Research Consultant Bunmi Dipo-Salami, highlighted the need for state governments to allocate budget and create special courts to effectively implement the VAPP Act, in order to protect the rights of women, girls and vulnerable groups.

She explained that while some states have effectively implemented the VAPP Act, others have not demonstrated strong political will for effective implementation, stressing the need for special courts, where cases can be easily heard to enable rapid judgment on violent cases.

Meanwhile, a lawyer and gender activist, Ms Brenda Anugwom, said while researching in the Federal Capital Territory, it was observed that in communities where there were less educated women, violence gender was low, while the numbers are high in city centers. where there were educated women.

“Litigation over sexual and gender-based violence is slow and, as such, only a few convictions have been handed down. There is a need to create a special “human rights tribunal” that would focus only on sexual and gender-based violence and other related sexual abuse.

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