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Government Should Reduce Pretrial Detention, Strengthen Judicial Independence

“We are tired of living like this, we live worse than animals,” a Haitian prisoner recently told the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH). His testimony and those of the more than 800 prisoners in 12 jails are part of a comprehensive…
A detainee pulls a large stock pot filled with rice and beans during lunch inside the National Penitentiary in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Febuary. 13, 2017. 
News

Government Should End Restrictions on Free Expression

The Nigerian government’s decision to ban Twitter and prosecute those who continue using the platform is a blatant and unjustified restriction on civic space and people’s right to information through social media. The government said its decision,…
Newspaper headline Twitter Banned in Nigeria
News

Deepening Insecurity Requires Urgent Response to Protect Civilians

As I went about my day on Monday of this week catching up on the happenings in Nigeria, I was struck by the number of violent incidents reported across the country in just 24 hours.   I began in the morning following up on reports of attacks…
Photo shows Greenfield University in Nigeria, in the daylight with a green sign reading the university's name.
News

End Sweeping Border Expulsions, Re-designate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status

In 1993, when I was a junior staff member at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, I saw first-hand the tragic repercussions of US President Bill Clinton’s failure to follow through on the promise he made as a candidate to…
A migrant from Haiti wearing a mask in the colors of the Mexican and US flags stands at a border crossing with others, waiting to asylum in the US, February 19, 2021. 
News

Authorities Should Ensure Schools Are Safe

Update: On February 26, barely 9 days after the abduction in Niger State, 317 girls were abducted from a government girls’ secondary school in the Jangebe area of northwestern Zamfara State. Gunmen in Nigeria’s northwestern Niger State attacked a…
Freed schoolboys look on during a meeting with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, December 18, 2020, in Katsina, Nigeria, days after an armed group attacked their school and kidnapped them.
News

Investigate and Ensure Accountability for Central Bank’s Abuse of Power

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered Nigeria’s Central Bank to unfreeze the bank accounts of  twenty #EndSARS supporters, who had been protesting nationwide police brutality.   The freeze on bank accounts was one of several measures…
People hold banners and flags as they protest against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, Monday Oct. 19, 2020.
News

Authorities Should Prioritize Civilian Protection

Suspected Boko Haram insurgents reportedly killed at least 70 civilians this weekend, many of them farmers working on a rice field. The attackers tied up many of the victims before slitting their throats, according to media reports. This…
People attend a funeral for people killed by suspected Boko Haram in Zaabarmar, Borno, Nigeria, November 29, 2020. 
News

Authorities Should Create Database, Provide Information, Reunite Families

Hundreds of people are missing from a town in northeast Nigeria following an attack by suspected Boko Haram fighters on August 18. Witnesses told me most were abducted by the insurgents or went missing as they fled the attack on the town of Kukawa…
Family members of the kidnapped Nigerian Chibok girls, Nigeria, October 18, 2016.
News

Authorities Should End Cycle of Impunity

A recent wave of deadly attacks in the southern part of Nigeria’s restive Kaduna State has brought the seemingly never-ending cycle of communal violence and impunity in the state back into focus. The media reported that gunmen killed at least 43…
People gathered around the wreckage of a damaged road side tea shop following an explosion in Kaduna, Nigeria Monday, April 9, 2012.
News

Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
News

Adopt and Enforce Laws on Violence Against Women

On May 28, Vera Uwaila Omosuwa, a 22- year old microbiology student at the University of Benin, Edo State was raped and brutally assaulted after she went to study in a church, according to reports received by the National Human Rights Commission.…
Nigerians gather to protest sexual assault and violence against women and girls on June 1, 2020.
News

Authorities Need to Ensure Public Health Information Available to All

Recent reports of hundreds more deaths than usual across communities in Nigeria’s Kano State have raised fears that a major Covid-19 outbreak is underway. Official data from Kano State Ministry of Health reports 219 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 5…
Rows of beds inside a Covid-19 coronavirus isolation center at the Sani Abacha stadium in Kano, Nigeria, April 7, 2020.
News

Past Raids Led to Killings, Rape

Last week Haiti’s minister of justice and public security announced that government forces would conduct a raid to curb gang violence in Village de Dieu, a low-income neighborhood in Port-au-Prince. He gave “good people” 72 hours to…
People go about their day in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019.
News

Government Should Ban Shackling, Ensure Protection for People with Mental Health Conditions

As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, certain images come to mind: quarantines in Wuhan and Italy, empty streets in France, and busy hospitals in the United States. While these images have flooded the media lately, others are less…
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News

Law Enforcement Response to COVID-19 Should Respect Human Rights

Nigeria plans to deploy soldiers and police officers to enforce social distancing as part of efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. The announcement came after the Inspector General of Police directed police to strictly enforce all legitimate…
A member of the Nigerian army performs a temperature check on a visitor at the entrance of the Nigerian Army Hospital in the Yaba area of Lagos, Nigeria, February 28, 2020.
News

Children as Young as 5 Arrested on Suspected Ties to Boko Haram

Update: Nigeria’s military has released an additional 223 children from a maximum-security prison in Borno State, the epicenter of the conflict with Boko Haram. Some of the children had been in detention for up to four or five years.…
UNICEF photo
News

Insurgent Attacks Against Civilians Constitute War Crimes

Worrying reports of gruesome attacks and killings by insurgents in Nigeria’s restive northeast region appear to show an escalation of attacks on aid workers and other civilians over the past several weeks. On January 21, Boko…
Smoldering ashes and charred items are seen on the ground in Badu near Maiduguri, Nigeria, on July 28, 2019, after a suspected attack by Boko Haram fighters on a funeral.
News

Proposal Would Criminalize Criticism of Government

Nigerian campaigners are speaking out against a bill that would regulate engagement on social media with the campaign #SayNoToSocialMediaBill. The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill 2019 was presented in the Senate…
Two men check their phones in Kaduna, Nigeria
News

Federal Government, Other States Should Follow Ekiti State

Ekiti State in southwest Nigeria has adopted a policy to ban the expulsion of girls from schools during and after pregnancy, an important step in ending the longstanding discriminatory practice. Although Nigeria’s Child…
Jacinta, 15, was excluded from school after authorities found out that she was pregnant.
News

Sexual Exploitation and Harassment Also Widespread in Secondary Schools

A hard-hitting BBC television documentary, Sex for Grades, has uncovered rampant sexual abuse, harassment, and bullying of students at two prestigious universities in Nigeria and Ghana, and launched what will hopefully be a new movement.   …
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report