As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to commemorate 2022 International Day for Older Persons, the Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chief Tony Ojukwu SAN has reiterated the commitment of the Commission to the promotion and protection of the rights of the older persons in Nigeria.
Chief Ojukwu stated this to commemorate the 2022 International Day For Older Persons (IDOP) ,he said the Commission in fulfillment of its mandate to promote and protect the rights of all persons in Nigeria irrespective of age, has taken some deliberate steps towards ensuring effective realization of the rights of older persons in Nigeria.
According to the Human Rights Boss, some of these steps include appointment of Desk Officers in all the State Offices in order to equip them with the technical knowhow in addressing any issue concerning the violation of the rights of older persons when they arise. He said these officers are being trained purposely to build their capacity in handling issues relating to the rights of older persons as well as develop programs that will enhance the enjoyment of rights of these vulnerable groups.
Speaking further, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria stated that at the recently concluded meeting of the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on the rights of older persons, Nigeria through the National Human Rights Commission emphasized on the need for African States to continue to strengthen national legislations and mechanisms towards protecting the rights of older persons while supporting the adoption of an International Convention for the protection of the rights of older persons.
He reiterated the need to provide social security, data gathering and further research aimed at promoting the enjoyment of rights of older persons. “The Commission has been at the fore-front of pushing for the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights of Older Persons in Africa which Nigeria has signed but yet to ratify” he added. He equally emphasized the need of having a convention that will serve as a universal document for the protection of the rights of older persons.
“We at the NHRC commend the federal government for the establishment of the National Senior Citizens Centre which has the shared mandate to initiate programs that will promote the overall wellbeing of older persons in Nigeria”. Ojukwu stated.
The Chief Human Rights Officer in Nigeria who reiterated the commitment of the Commission to work with the agency as well as other critical stakeholders towards effective realization of rights of these vulnerable groups said; “the theme of this year’s celebration Resilience of Older Persons in a Changing World, is apt, considering the continuous impact of their contribution to nation building”.
“Considering the devastating effects of COVID-19, the need to fortify the protection of the rights of older persons in a charging world cannot be overemphasized. The Commission uses the opportunity of the commemoration of the International Day of older persons to call on all organs of government and well-meaning institutions and organisations in Nigeria to mainstream the protection and promotion of rights of older persons into all their operations in order to strengthen the resilience of older persons in a changing world”.