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NHRC to communities: Report rights violations to tackle HIV/AIDS stigmatisation

NHRC to communities: Report rights violations to tackle HIV/AIDS stigmatisation
December 01
19:08 2023

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked community members to report cases of rights violations against people with HIV/AIDS to address issues of stigmatisation.

Tony Ojukwu, NHRC executive secretary, spoke in Abuja on Friday during an event to commemorate the 2023 World AIDS Day.

World AIDS Day is celebrated annually on December 1 to create awareness and support people living with HIV/AIDS.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that affects the body’s immune system which can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) if not properly treated.

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Ojukwu said members of every community need to lead in addressing the challenges and awareness gap on HIV/AIDS in the country.

“The commission joins the world in commemorating this day and indeed acknowledges its mandate-driven responsibility to address the media outcries about allegations of human rights infringement faced by the communities of concern,” NAN quoted Ojukwu as saying.

“It needs not to be over-emphasised that relegating the community members to the background has had and still has adverse consequences on the actualisation of human rights of members of the communities.

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“Enabling the communities to lead, especially in reporting allegations of human rights violations is therefore an imperative in order to scale up redress

“This year’s theme: Let communities Lead” is apt, because it seeks to galvanize the communities of concern to play lead roles in matters that affect them.”

The NHRC boss said funding shortages, policy and regulatory hurdles, as well as capacity constraints, are some of the issues affecting HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and support for patients in Nigeria.

“In collaboration with key stakeholders, including community members, the commission looks forward to combating these obstacles so that community-led initiatives can thrive and add greater impetus to the country’s  HIV response,  and advance progress towards the global end AIDS 2030 agenda,” he added.

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“This World AID Day- commemoration – session seeks to familiarize members of the communities, other duty bearers and staff of the commission with the basics of HIV/AIDS, the various redress mechanisms, intervention opportunities and referral pathways available so that the communities can be fully engaged in the process, as well as play lead roles in  the process of accountability for infractions.”

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