The Nigeria today joined rest of the world to mark 2023 World AIDS Day.In his remark to commemorate the global day,with the theme “Let Communities Lead” is remarkable, the Dr Tony Ojukwu,Executive Secretary , National Human Rights Commission NHRC, said the commission had its mandate-driven responsibility to address the media outcries about allegations of human rights infringement faced by the Communities of Concern.
” It needs not be over emphasized that relegating the community members to the background has had and still has adverse consequences on the actualization of Human Rights of members of the communities
“Enabling the communities to lead, especially in reporting allegations of human rights violations is therefore an imperative in order to scale up redress
This year’s theme “Let communities Lead” is apt, because it seeks to galvanize the communities of concern to play lead roles in matters that affect them.
“It is hoped that the communities will be enabled to fully maximize the various referral pathways available for seeking redress. Furthermore, the communities have experienced funding shortage, policy / regulatory hurdles, and capacity constraint which have pushed them to the background. All these are barriers adversely affecting the progress in HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for infected or affected persons. In collaboration with key stakeholders including community members, the commission looks forward to combating these obstacles so that community-led initiatives can thrive and add greater impetus to the Country HIV response, and advance progress towards the global end AIDS 2030 agenda” Ojukwu said.
NHRC said the World AID Day- commemoration – session seek to familiarize members of the communities, other Duty bearers and staff of the Commission with the Basics of HIV/AIDS, the various redress mechanisms, intervention opportunities and referral pathways available so that the communities can be fully engaged in the process, as well as play lead roles in the process of accountability for infractions. Of much more importance, this initiative seeks to reinforce the linkages between HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, improve capacity and strengthen partnership with the Network of People Living with HIV /AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) as well as the members of the Key Populations (KPs) to effectively have a more robust community based leadership.
The Chief Right Enforcer said””This activity today also provides an opportunity where the community members and the duty bearers can interface to have a better understanding of what the communities need to do to effectively lead the process. I am hopeful that this will be a fruitful deliberation and all the participants will take advantage of this opportunity”.
Globally, 1st December is set aside by the international community to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS as well as demonstrate international solidarity in face of the pandemic.