The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) have signed a Memorandum of Partnership (MOP) that will enable the two organisations to pull their unique mandates and resources to fight HIV/AIDS, associated vulnerabilities and inequalities in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu Esq. who stated this in Abuja recently when he signed the MOP on behalf of the Commission said that UNAIDS and national partners like NACA have played crucial roles in placing on the issues of the global agenda such as stigmatization, discrimination, inhuman and degrading treatment of persons living with HIV/AIDS.
He stated that “UNAIDS and NACA have helped in no small measures towards uplifting the living conditions of persons living with HIV/AIDS” and that their various interventions have reduced the spread of HIV/AIDS across the globe.
In his remarks, the Director General of NACA, Dr. Gambo Aliyu said that working with the NHRC will assist his organisation to achieve its mandate in a more seamless manner saying that addressing the human rights issues of PLWHIV has a nexus with their health condition, adding that healthy living is a component of human rights.
He, therefore, promised to continue to collaborate with the Commission pointing out that NHRC and NACA have a lot of things in common even as he observed that the right to healthy living is a fundamental right that should be protected at all times.
However, the representative of the UNDP, Mohammed Yahaya said that it is high time African men came to the realization that men do not face the same challenges that women and girls face, stressing that the female gender ought to be given adequate protection.
He also harped on the need to constantly promote and protect human rights saying that human rights are the foundation of development in any given society.
Members of the key populations present at the forum took time to express their challenges and experiences of human rights violations and the Commission assured them of continued protection of their rights both in emergency situations and in ordinary times.
Meanwhile, NHRC and NACA (in the presence of UNAIDS Emissary) signed the MOP to work collaboratively towards addressing the related issues of human rights violations and HIV/AIDS especially as they affect the key populations and other vulnerable groups in Nigeria.