The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees (UNHRC) have put machineries in place to monitor the protection issues affecting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in some parts of the North East and North Central geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
The Ag. Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mrs. Oti Ovrawah disclosed this during the joint NHRC/UNHCR Training on Protection Monitoring in the North East and the North Central which took place in Bauchi.
Mrs. ovrawah said this year’s training is aimed at building the capacity of protection monitors to carry out their duties of monitoring and documenting issues concerning the IDPs which will provide the necessary information that will serve as the basis for giving them human rights and humanitarian assistance.
She said although the degrading of insurgency has resulted in the returning home of some IDPs, she observed that their humanitarian challenges are still numerous and needs to be addressed in order to bring succor to these vulnerable group.
To ameliorate these humanitarian Challenges, Ovrawah said the NHRC in collaboration with UNHCR initiated the IDPs protection monitoring project since 2015 to monitor and document the protection issues ( human rights and humanitarian challenges) of the IDPs with a view to finding solution to these challenges.
According to the representative of the UNHCR Country Representative, Miss Lizzy Kwagbo, the mandate of UNHCR is the protection of IDPs therefore monitoring their situation and identifying solutions that will cater for their needs cannot be overemphasized” she said.
Ms. Kwagbo said team work is important in achieving the objective of the project, hence she urged all the protection monitors to work as a team in order to make positive impact as they document and report the humanitarian situation of the concerned population.
According to the project coordinator, Mr. Tony Ojukwu Esq, the IDPs have different protection issues ranging from health, shelter, feeding and sexual and gender based violation like rape. He said it is the duty of the monitors to track these issues and make appropriate referrals to relevant organizations to properly address the challenges identified.
He said the protect cannot exist forever, thus he urged the protection monitors to form Community Protection Action Groups (PAGs) for sustainability when the support ends.
He also said one of the objectives of the training is to emphasize on closing the gaps that were identified in monitoring protection issues of the IDPs in the previous years.
Mr. Ojukwu expressed optimism on the outcome of this year’s project saying monitors would be taught to dissipate more energy in following up referrals to make the IDPs feel the impact of the project.
While expressing appreciation over the training, participants shared their experiences pledging to put into practice all they have learnt from the training.