2011: Celebrating Human Rights

The Initiative for Equal Rights is dedicated to celebrating human rights and particularly commemorating the International Human Rights’ Day.

The International human rights day celebrates the spirit of human rights and the efforts of Human rights Defenders around the world to end human rights violations against vulnerable members of society. Some of the most vulnerable members of society affected by human rights violations are women, children, the physically impaired and members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

Amidst the celebration of several developments that have been made this year in the protection of LGBT human rights all over the world- the UN resolution on LGBT rights, ground breaking speech of US Secretary of State- Hilary Clinton, memorandum to advance LGBT human rights protection all over the world, signed by US President- Barack Obama: TIER is deeply concerned about the anti-gay bill, which has just passed its first reading at the House of Assembly on Wednesday 7th December, 2011.

The bill by its content violates multiple human rights, including but not limited to; The right to freedom of association and assembly, the right to freedom of expression, the right to privacy, the right to thought, conscience and religion and the right to equality of all people, all of which are rights that are entrenched in the 1999 Nigerian constitution.

“It contradicts Nigeria’s commitment to Regional and International human instruments to which it is a signatory. These instruments include the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) etc.” says Joseph Sewedo Akoro- TIER Executive Director.

In honor of the universality, the inalienability and the indivisibility of human rights and in the spirit of brotherhood promoted by human rights as enshrined in the opening statement of the Universal declaration of human rights (UDHR) in article 1 which states:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”

The Initiative for Equal Rights calls upon: Members of civil society, the Nigerian bar association and Human rights organizations to add their voice, their will and might to prevail on the Nigerian government to join us to celebrate human rights on this day of the International human rights day by refusing to pass into law a bill that violates the very essence of human rights.

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by Joseph Sewedo Akoro and Ekene Okwuegbunam – MSM Global Forum