The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr. Anthony Ojukwu, has pledged to collaborate with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) on areas relating to human rights to enhance the agency’s mandate of coordinating national HIV and AIDS response.
Mr. Ojukwu, during his visit to the Director- General of NACA, recently in Abuja, particularly stated that the Commission would collaborate with the agency in its quest to eradicate stigma and discrimination as well as other degrading treatments, which have negative effects on people living with HIV and AIDS.
‘’As Human Rights Commission, we should come and support you and strengthen the work you are doing in the area of human rights,” he stated.
The NHRC also stressed that access to health as well as issues relating to stigmatization and discrimination and inhuman and degrading treatments are all human rights issues that need a speedy and coordinated approach to tackle.
He also acknowledged the efforts of NACA in giving hope to many Nigerians who are now living with the virus. The hope has also brought about a positive mindset and an understanding that been infected with the virus is no longer a death sentence.
The human rights arrowhead further disclosed that his Commission has offices across all the 36 states and Abuja, remarking that they could deploy their widespread presence to assist NACA in all nooks and crannies in the agency’s r stride to address HIV-related human rights abuses.
Responding, Dr. Gambo Aliyu expressed gratitude for the NHRC’s gesture and its willingness to deploy its constitutional influence to collaborate with NACA to enhance the agency’s work. He was optimistic that the partnership between NACA and the NHRC would help address issues of the marginalized populations and individuals, particularly in areas of HIV-related stigma and discrimination, gender-based violence and similar human violations in its programmatic activities.
He noted the increasing rate of gender-based and similar human rights violation and advocated strongly for the mainstreaming of human rights into the work the agency is doing. These, he added will help to ‘’to improve the lot of the less privileged and the marginalized groups and individuals.
Dr. Gambo also acknowledged government efforts in acting fast to correct the abuses of human rights to ensure ‘’justice is served.’’