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February 26, 2024
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Mr Matthias Schmale, UN Resident and humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria

Granting remedy to everyone injured signifies justice, says UN rep

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By Edith Nwapi

Mr Matthias Schmale, UN Resident and humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, said granting remedy to everyone whose rights were violated signifies justice.

Schmale said this while speaking at an event on ligitigating human rights in Nigeria, organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in partnership with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

He said the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 75 years ago aimed at giving everyone the chance for an effective remedy when right is violated or injured.

“Granting remedy to everyone injured signifies justice and redress when right is violated.

“We need to guide and protect the different remedies provided for in the 1999 constitution as amended and under the regional and international human rights instruments.

“In international and regional levels, there are provisions of remedies such as early release from prison, legislative changes, assistance in buying drugs or provision of housing.

“Do something, no matter how small, it will go a long way to address injustice. We see where public apology was given to families who suffered injuries,” he said.

He said UDHR represents the universal recognition that basic rights and fundamental freedoms are inherent to all human beings, inalienable and equally applicable to everyone.

He added that every one of us is born free and equal in dignity and rights.

“Article 8 of the UDHR outlines the right to effective remedy (repair) a person’s right to seek justice and remedy if their rights have been violated.

“Effective remedy can take many forms, including (but not limited to): Financial or other compensation. Changing laws or procedures,” he said.

He cited the National apology by Australian government in 2008.

On Feb. 13, 2008, then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, made a formal apology on behalf of the Australian Parliament to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Between 1910 and 1970, thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were forcibly removed from their families and communities by churches, welfare organisations and governments.

It is estimated that, anywhere from some Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families and fostered or adopted by non-Indigenous families or raised in institutions.

These children are known as the Stolen Generations.

Schmale said that this National apology may seem small or simple but it goes a long way to address injuries suffered by the affected families.

He further cited the Kenyan reconciliation committee of 2008.

NAN reports that in 2007–2008 a violent political, economic, and humanitarian crisis erupted in Kenya after former President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the presidential election held on . 27, 2007.

NAN reports further that in Jan. 1, 2008 the riots in escalated following the tension after disputed presidential elections.

A mob attacked and set fire to a church in the town of Eldoret, where hundreds of people had taken refuge. As a result, at least 30 people, mostly Kikuyus, were burned to death.

The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission of Kenya (TJRC) was the established in 2008 to address injustices from 1963 to 2008 it included ethnic conflicts, marginalisation, political violence and the 2007 post election violence.

However, Schmale said some remedies when enforced on time can help to ease the pains and provide justice.

“Some violations are so great that remedies, no matter how generous or well considered can be of no help.

“But effective remedy no matter how small should be given to ease the emotional pains of the injured

“The discussion should be able to help in addressing some of these challenges in providing effective remedy to everyone in respective of gender, location, and economic status.”

NAN reports that Dec.10 will make 75 years of the United Nations universal declaration of human rights with the theme : Freedom , Equality and Justice for All. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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