The Senate, on Tuesday, 5 April, 2022, passed a bill to reposition the National Human Rights Commission by establishing the National Human Rights Fund in Nigeria’s annual budget.
The Fund when established, would be used particularly for interventions on sexual and gender-based violence and other unforeseen human rights violations in the country.
The Bill tagged: “The National Human Rights Commission Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2021 (SB.587)”, was read for the first time on 2nd December, 2020.
It seeks to repeal and enact the National Human Rights Commission Act 2010 (as amended).
The passage of the bill was sequel to the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti Central), said the bill seeks to “reposition and streamline the institutional framework of the Commission by strengthening its capacity to conduct investigations on human rights issues, as well as expand on the scope of the Commission’s operation, generally.
“The bill also makes specific provisions to provide for the National Human Rights Fund in the National Budget as well as provide effective means of sustaining contribution to the Fund, whereby non-governmental organisations and multi-national corporations will make remittances to the account, accordingly”, Bamidele said.
He explained that the establishment of the human rights fund is in line with international practices, as it relates to human rights institutions globally.
He stated that the Fund would facilitate the seamless discharge of the statutory functions of the Commission in line with the Paris Principles.
“This is important in view of the rising spate of insecurity, sexual and gender-based violence and other unforeseen human rights violations in the country, which cannot be contemplated and adequately budgeted for, during consideration of annual budgets”, he added.