World AIDS Day: NHRC ES urges communities to report human rights abuses against PLWHA

Fri, Dec 1, 2023
By editor


Mr Anthony Ojukwu, SAN, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has urged members of the community to report cases of human rights abuses against People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

Ojukwu made the call on Friday at an event to commemorate the 2023 World AIDS day.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Dec. 1 is set aside by the international community to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS as well as demonstrate international solidarity in  face of the pandemic.

The theme  for this year’s Commemoration is “Let Communities Lead” is remarkable.

“The commission joins the  world in commemorating this day and indeed acknowledge its mandate-driven responsibility to address the media outcries about allegations of human rights infringement faced by the Communities of Concern.

”  It needs not be over- emphasised that relegating the community members to the background has had and still has adverse consequences on the actualization of Human Rights of members of the communities.

”  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” he said.

He noted that community members have the responsibility to report such violations to fully maximise the various referral pathways available for seeking redress.

Furthermore, he said, PLWHA have experienced funding shortage, policy / regulatory hurdles, and capacity constraint which have pushed them to the background.

He added that all these are barriers adversely affecting the progress in HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for infected or affected persons.

” 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  HIV response,  and advance progress towards the global  end AIDS 2030 agenda.

” 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.

”  Of much more importance, this initiative seeks to reinforce the linkages between HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, improve capacity and strengthen partnership with the Network of People Living with HIV /AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) as well as the members of the Key Populations (KPs) to effectively have a more robust community based leadership” he added.

This activity today, according to Ojukwu also provides an opportunity where the community members and the duty bearers can interface .

He added that this would  help to have a better understanding of what the communities need to  do to effectively lead the process.

Also speaking, Ms Rakiya Ilasu from the People Living with AIDS thanked the commission for its support at all times.


December 1, 2023 @ 15:47 GMT|