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NHRC urges government to protect refugees, migrants, IDPs

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THE National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has urged the Nigerian government to take action towards the protection of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within the country.

Executive Secretary of the NHRC Tony Ojukwu made the call in a statement released to commemorate World Refugee Day on June 20.

“As Nigeria joins the rest of the international community to celebrate the 2021 World Refugees Day, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is calling on the government at all levels and other duty bearers to give more attention to Refugees,” Ojukwu said in the statement.

He expressed concerns over the escalation of humanitarian issues in Nigeria in recent times and the attendant exposure of victims of human rights abuses to poverty.

Ojukwu also frowned at the high morbidity and mortality rate among IDPs in the country.

The humanitarian situation in the country has worsened due to the Boko Haram insurgency, farmer-herder clashes and increasing cases of kidnapping, according to the human rights commission chief.  

Citing provisions of relevant international conventions such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), he stressed that every human being was entitled to social protection in and outside their country of origin.

“Respecting these conventions is the only way to boost social protection and collectively reap the fruits of inclusiveness and non-discrimination,” he said.

Ojukwu further hinted that the commission monitored the human rights situation of the IDPs in Northern Nigeria as well as how the police and other law enforcement agencies complied with human rights principles in their operations.

The World Refugee Day is celebrated annually on June 20 to draw attention to the plight of refugees across the world.

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