Press Release on the Commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child
CEHRD joins the rest of the world and Civil Society Organizations to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child. The theme for this year is: “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030.” According to UN Women, there are 1.1 billion girls globally. Even with such a huge number, adolescent girls continue to suffer various forms of inequalities ranging from those faced while attaining secondary education, at home and even a total disappearance when it comes to international agenda. It is thus pertinent that the girl child should be a target for strategic investment to ensure that she is protected and her dreams are not cut short.
In response to this call, we have over the years established 30 peace clubs across River State for young persons; especially adolescent girls, to reduce violence against them. We are part of the observatory steering committee of Rivers State saddled with the responsibility of collating and reporting incidences of violence against women and children. CEHRD is currently the coordinating secretariat convening the Child Protection Network (CPN) of Nigeria in Rivers State. This is in line with the slogan: ‘Children are the future – Protect them’’.
The adolescent girl we see today has many untapped potentials in her that could contribute greatly to the growth of our Nation. In a recent discussion during Violence against women and children workshop organized by Partners Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) on 12, July 2017, the Gender Officer of CEHRD, Mrs. Eucharia spoke extensively on the need to promote the rights of the girl child. She noted that ‘the girl child needed to be adequately protected in this trying times when cases of child abuse are on the increase’.
CEHRD uses this medium to remember the adolescent girl Chikamso Victory whose life was forcefully snatched by her alleged ritualist and rapist relative, Ifeanyi Dike on August 20, 2017. CEHRD hereby calls on the Rivers State Judiciary to ensure the quick trial/sentence of the culprit if found guilty, to serve as a deterrent to others who might be thinking in a similar direction.
CEHRD is a human rights organization based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. It has its mission to protect the rights of citizens and teach them how to non-violently address the issues affecting them.
The local monitoring project team organised a focus group discussion (FDG) for community representatives from Ogale community to have a clear picture of the present state of water supply from the Eleme Water Supply Scheme. To fully understand the challenges faced by the target community, the team further conducted field monitoring and subsequently developed an open source online map and a water monitoring survey table with the aim of gathering and visually displaying on-ground information on the spread and effectiveness of the water scheme to affected community residents and compared the information gathered with the United Nations resolution of 64/292 of July 2010. This resolution categorically recognizes the right of humans to clean water and sanitation as fundamental in the actualization of human rights under the following salient points – Water must be Sufficient; Water must be physically accessible and Water must be affordable.
In the process of developing the pro-poor oil and gas advocacy policy, CEHRD programme team with support from CORDAID had consultations in 17 communities in Gokana local government area, which includes: Kporghor in Tai local government, and Kono in Khana local government area. A conference was held to validate the policy draft. The policy was envisioned to strengthen community pact in GMoU, to develop a framework for legislative engagement by host communities, to set in motion strategies to reconcile multiple partners through advocacy, nonviolent campaigns and capacity building and to obtain signatures of community leaders and representatives for the purpose of legislative engagement through advocacy on the impact and consequence of oil spills and gas flaring in the zone.
CEHRD had a participatory consultative survey of stakeholders and the project participants and a baseline to ascertain the human rights needs of people in selected communities in Rivers State. Six (6) thematic areas were earmarked as a fall out of the research. A consultant was hired to carryout training in collaboration with the coordinating committee members. The 5-day induction training was held at Jennifer Hotels, Omoku on 8th - 12th September, 2014.
The training led to the induction of Selected CBOs who became project participants and implemented the micro project in the Port Harcourt area. Project participants got in-depth knowledge of their thematic areas in relation to the regional and international human right instruments. They also acquired the knowledge to the design their micro project, as well as get acquainted with the coordinating committee.
The anti-oil theft campaigns and community sensitisation programmes focused on communities involved in illegal oil trade and artisanal refining. The objective of the campaigns and sensitisation programmes is linked to the broader objective of combating oil theft and artisanal refining through environmental and health impact community-level campaigns, trainings and awareness raising programmes.
CEHRD believes that if communities are properly sensitised, and are aware of the risks posed by oil theft and artisanal refinery to their health, environment and livelihoods, they will mop up operations through appropriate community governance mechanisms and traditional justice institutions to fight the criminal enterprise.
To this end, CEHRD produced 1000 branded t-shirts and face caps for the anti-oil theft campaign. The inscription at the back of the t-shirt reads, 'our environment is our life. Stop illegal oil bunkering'. The t-shirts were distributed to community members in fifteen communities in Rivers and Bayelsa States where training on Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out.