Key Populations, Vulnerable Group on the Receiving end of violations -UN Envoy


The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has decried that key populations and other vulnerable groups are always at the receiving end when human rights are relegated to the background.

Consequently, it urged human rights institutions to ensure that issues affecting this group are brought to the front burner.

UNAIDS Executive Director, Ms Winnie Byanyima who stated this when she led a delegation of Human Rights Experts on a working visit to the Commission, noted that everyone needs equal protection despite their orientation or health status.

Speaking further during an interactive session with key populations, human rights activists and partners in Nigeria, the UN Envoy stated that it is imperative to ensure inclusiveness in order to effectively address the healthcare needs of everyone, particularly the key populations.

According to her, violence against key populations and other vulnerable groups like Persons Living With HIV (PLWHIV) is not something that should be neglected because it has a way of rubbing off negatively on the larger society. 

On the individual level, she decried a situation where intimate partners like boyfriends and husbands violate the rights of those that they are supposed to support and protect all in the name of acting like Lords over the females.

The UN envoy added that not until the society comes to terms with the four principles of truth, reconciliation, restoration and forgiveness, attainment of social justice will remain elusive to mankind.

“Dwelling majorly on punishment of perpetrators of sexual violence or other forms of abuses against the key populations without seeking to provide remedies and compensations, will continue to leave a wide gap and that is not a way to go”, she added 

Meanwhile, she lauded the Commission for ensuring that human rights of citizens and those of foreigners living in Nigeria were upheld despite the lockdown, saying that the UN body is ever ready to collaborate with the Commission to improve on its protection mandate.

In his response, the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Tony Ojukwu Esq. assured the visiting UN Representative that the Commission will always ensure that the rights of the key populations and those of other vulnerable groups are accorded the necessary recognition and protection.

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