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DEVATOP and Partners Train Human Rights Advocates

Devatop Centre for Africa Development with support from Seed of Change and Mcginnity Family Foundation trains 35 civil society organizations, young people and women as Human Rights Advocates. The first edition of the training which held on 10th and 11th July, 2019 in Abuja, was aimed at building the capacity of stakeholders on human rights advocacy, and engages them in campaigning against human rights abuses, monitoring, reporting, and providing referral services to victims.  After the training, participants were required to implement step-down projects within the next four months and as well document human rights abuses in their local areas.

Participants drawn from six states (Rivers, Kaduna, Lagos, FCT, Kano, and Nasarawa) were trained on overview of human rights, overview of human trafficking, overview of gender-based violence, observing/reporting of human rights abuses and becoming a human rights advocate. They were taught how to use the recently developed human rights reporting application, TALKAM (www.talkam.org).

Mr. Kurugh Jeffrey Bem, Senior Investigation Officer at National Human Rights Commission educated the participants on universal and national human rights issues and how they can promote and protect the rights of vulnerable citizens. He expressed the interest of National Human Rights Commission to work with Devatop Centre for Africa Development to monitor and respond to human rights abuses in Nigeria.

Mr. Desmond Garba, Director of Intelligence and Manpower Development at National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) highlighted different forms of human trafficking, causes, solutions and the roles of young people in tackling them. According to him, the fight against human trafficking is not just the sole responsibility of government, but citizens, especially young people should be actively involved in it. He further stated that NAPTIP has been committed to responding to reported cases of human trafficking, and convicted some of the perpetrators. He admonished the participants to be proactive in tackling human trafficking.

During the training, Mrs. Duru Regina, Executive Director of Regy and Henry Amazing Grace Foundation educated the participants on overview of gender-based violence and violence against persons prohibition act (VAPP Act). She called on participants to help in tackling violence against women and men.

While training the participants on human rights advocacy and how to use the TALKAM App to report, Mr, Joseph Osuigwe the Executive Director of Devatop Centre for Africa Development, emphasized that, “the incidence of human rights abuses is increasing, and there is more work to be done, but very few people are available for the work. There is urgent need for young people to take up the responsibility of tackling human rights abuses”.  He stated that TALKAM App is one of the tools that will enable advocates to advance human rights in Nigeria and the goal of TALKAM is to use information and data to stimulate actions against human rights abuse, and as well as increasing reportage, and reducing incidences.

In his good will message, the president of Network of CSOs Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), Mr. Emmanuel commended DEVATOP for the training, and expressed NACTAL commitment to assist in hosting the training in other states.

Other partners on TALKAM Human Rights Advocacy training include: National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Network of CSOs Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), and The Pollination Project.

While giving a closing remark on behalf of Devatop Centre for Africa Development and partners, Mr. Joseph Osuigwe stated that through the support of Seed of Change, Mcginnity Family Foundation, National Agency For Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons(NAPTIP), National Human Rights Commission, and Network of CSOs Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), DEVATOP will hold three more editions of TALKAM events within this year. He notified the participants that another event on TALKAM Against Human Trafficking will be coming up on 7th August, 2019 at U.S Embassy, Nigeria.

Devatop Centre for Africa Development is one of the leading youth-driven human rights organization in Nigeria, with over 300 volunteers across five countries. In 2018, the organization created the first Nigerian human rights abuse reporting mobile application, known as TALKAM (www.talkam.org).

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