CODE SGBV

Connected Development (CODE) and the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria have renewed their partnership to galvanise mass action against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).

The organisation recently announced the launch of the second phase of its Galvanising Mass Action Against Gender-Based Violence in Kano (GMAA-K) campaign.

The campaign, Development Diaries understands, aims to end all forms of gender-based violence (GBV) as well as drive the adoption and integration of the Violence Against Person Prohibition (VAPP) Act and the Child Rights Act in the state.

The GMAA-K campaign, which is supported by the Canadian High Commission, is a direct response to the menace of SGBV that is common practice in many states across Nigeria, according to CODE.

Available figures indicate that GBV in Nigeria has been on a steady increase despite the passage of the VAPP Act in 2015 and the CRA in 2003.

Africa’s most populous nation has the third highest rate of SGBV in the world, with data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) showing that at least 30 percent of women and girls aged between 15 and 49 have experienced one or multiple forms of sexual abuse.

Victims of violence can suffer sexual and reproductive health consequences, including forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, traumatic fistula, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and even death.

The VAPP Act prohibits all forms of violence against persons, provides protection and effective remedies for victims of gender abuse, while the CRA seeks to protect the rights of the Nigerian child and safeguard their welfare.

However, not all the 36 states that make up Nigeria have domesticated the VAPP law and only 25 states have so far passed the CRA.

‘For the first quarter of this year, we worked towards the adoption of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act in Kano and recorded success as the government opted to harmonise/incorporate the VAPP Act provisions into the Penal Code Law, in order to reconcile provisions and have a single comprehensive law that addresses SGBV; the legal document is pending validation and enactment by the Kano State House of Assembly’, the Chief Executive of CODE, Hamzat Lawal, said in a statement.

Lawal, according to the statement, further said that the new phase of the project will propel the validation exercise of the VAPP and Penal Code Law and equally work towards enhancing women’s rights.

The Acting Canadian High Commissioner, Kelvin Tokar, said the partnership with CODE was timely.

‘It [SGBV] is a crisis in Nigeria that we must condemn and work together to eliminate. For the past few years, [we have] seen a number of states in Nigeria pass and start to implement the VAPP Act which has given us hope but not all states have achieved this important milestone and much more work is needed, which is where our partnership with CODE comes into play’, he said.

‘With Canada’s support, CODE will continue to galvanise mass action against SGBV in Kano State by ensuring the passage of the VAPP and Child’s Rights Act’.

Photo source: CODE/Jide Ojediran

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