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Effectiveness of Legislation Enacted to Address VAW in Nigeria By Oby Nwankwo Executive Director Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC)

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Presentation on theme: "Effectiveness of Legislation Enacted to Address VAW in Nigeria By Oby Nwankwo Executive Director Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Effectiveness of Legislation Enacted to Address VAW in Nigeria By Oby Nwankwo Executive Director Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) Nigeria Tuesday, April 28, 2015Tuesday, April 28, 2015Tuesday, April 28, 2015Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2 Introduction Violence against women a profound social & health problem for women. a profound social & health problem for women. a significant cause of female morbidity & mortality. a significant cause of female morbidity & mortality. a social problem in terms of the cultural prerogatives assigned to men by sexism. a social problem in terms of the cultural prerogatives assigned to men by sexism. a patriarchal culture both fosters belief in men’s entitlement to service, obedience, loyalty & subservience of women partners & authorizes men’s violence towards women in service of those entitlements. a patriarchal culture both fosters belief in men’s entitlement to service, obedience, loyalty & subservience of women partners & authorizes men’s violence towards women in service of those entitlements. In a patriarchy, the power assigned to men in intimate relationships & the violence permitted to sustain that power foster social control of women by men in the culture. In a patriarchy, the power assigned to men in intimate relationships & the violence permitted to sustain that power foster social control of women by men in the culture.

3 VAW & Cultural Myths (1) Violence should be seen as the final expression of patriarchal values of sexual domination in society. Violence should be seen as the final expression of patriarchal values of sexual domination in society. The values are accentuated by cultural myths which suggest for instance, that The values are accentuated by cultural myths which suggest for instance, that domestic violence is a private family affair, domestic violence is a private family affair, women who are raped asked for it women who are raped asked for it Cultural myths victimize women & shape their attitudes towards violence. Cultural myths victimize women & shape their attitudes towards violence. Presumption that marriage entails automatic consent to sexual relations, terms of which are dictated by the husband. Presumption that marriage entails automatic consent to sexual relations, terms of which are dictated by the husband. Men’s ownership of women’s sexuality justifies FGM & child marriage to preserve a woman’s virginity for her husband. Men’s ownership of women’s sexuality justifies FGM & child marriage to preserve a woman’s virginity for her husband. Laws (s. 55 P.C) tend to encourage VAW - allows a husband to beat his wife, justifying the ownership myth. Laws (s. 55 P.C) tend to encourage VAW - allows a husband to beat his wife, justifying the ownership myth.

4 VAW & Cultural Myths (2) Longstanding social & cultural norms reinforce its acceptability in society. Longstanding social & cultural norms reinforce its acceptability in society. Marital rape is not a crime – a wife is the property of the man who paid bride price. Marital rape is not a crime – a wife is the property of the man who paid bride price. Divorce & property laws & customary practices disadvantage women who try to escape abusive marriages. Divorce & property laws & customary practices disadvantage women who try to escape abusive marriages. Nigerian women are Nigerian women are excluded from inheriting (cannot access credit for lack of collateral), excluded from inheriting (cannot access credit for lack of collateral), evicted from their lands & homes by in-laws, evicted from their lands & homes by in-laws, stripped of their possessions, & stripped of their possessions, & forced to engage in risky sexual practices in order to keep their property. forced to engage in risky sexual practices in order to keep their property.

5 Forms of Manifestation of VAW in Nigeria (1) Pushing, kicking, hitting, punching, burning, stabbing, throwing of hot water or sulfuric acid, wounding, killing. Pushing, kicking, hitting, punching, burning, stabbing, throwing of hot water or sulfuric acid, wounding, killing. HTPs - FGM, child marriage, oppressive widowhood practices, levirate marriages & denial of inheritance. HTPs - FGM, child marriage, oppressive widowhood practices, levirate marriages & denial of inheritance. Sexual offences - rape, marital rape, incest, indecent assault, sexual harassment, forced pregnancy, trafficking in women, deliberately infecting women with HIV/AIDS. Sexual offences - rape, marital rape, incest, indecent assault, sexual harassment, forced pregnancy, trafficking in women, deliberately infecting women with HIV/AIDS. Violence by state actors - rape & indecent assault by police &d security forces, torture of women in custody. Violence by state actors - rape & indecent assault by police &d security forces, torture of women in custody. Emotional or psychological abuse - a form of violence that many battered women consider worse than physical abuse. Emotional or psychological abuse - a form of violence that many battered women consider worse than physical abuse.

6 Forms of Manifestation of VAW in Nigeria (2) Emotional or psychological abuse involve: Emotional or psychological abuse involve: repeated verbal abuse, Harassment, repeated verbal abuse, Harassment, Confinement & husbands restricting their wives’ movements. Confinement & husbands restricting their wives’ movements. deprivation of financial & personal resources, deprivation of financial & personal resources, repeated threats to send victim away from her matrimonial home, repeated threats to send victim away from her matrimonial home, men going away from home & leaving the children & mother without any support, men going away from home & leaving the children & mother without any support, in-laws tormenting the wife in-laws tormenting the wife sex selective abortion/male child preference ideology, sex selective abortion/male child preference ideology, daughters & women being thought of as “good for nothing” & not worth educating, daughters & women being thought of as “good for nothing” & not worth educating, perpetual fear of being beaten, attacked or harassed. perpetual fear of being beaten, attacked or harassed.

7 Existing Legal Framework on VAW – Criminal Law (1) Before 2003, no national laws expressly or specifically protecting women against violence. Before 2003, no national laws expressly or specifically protecting women against violence. Existing laws are inadequate, discriminatory or limited by virtue of the undue burden placed on the victim – Criminal Law. Existing laws are inadequate, discriminatory or limited by virtue of the undue burden placed on the victim – Criminal Law. Section 383 of the Criminal Code of Nigeria - 3 years imprisonment for assault occasioning harm Section 383 of the Criminal Code of Nigeria - 3 years imprisonment for assault occasioning harm - does not protect women from violence in relationships e.g. marriage - does not protect women from violence in relationships e.g. marriage - deals with assault generally - deals with assault generally - It does not provide reliefs - maintenance, shelter, custody etc. - It does not provide reliefs - maintenance, shelter, custody etc. Remedies under criminal law are confined to the prosecution & possible conviction of the offender – nothing for the victim. Remedies under criminal law are confined to the prosecution & possible conviction of the offender – nothing for the victim.

8 Existing Legal Framework on VAW – Criminal Law (2) Criminal Law provides punishment for violent acts but the system refuses to deal with violence in the home as crime. Criminal Law provides punishment for violent acts but the system refuses to deal with violence in the home as crime. State driven - little space to consider the victim’s needs. State driven - little space to consider the victim’s needs. Non-compoundable offence - does not allow a woman any scope for entering into settlements once the case reaches the court. Non-compoundable offence - does not allow a woman any scope for entering into settlements once the case reaches the court. Higher standard of proof - beyond reasonable doubt. Higher standard of proof - beyond reasonable doubt. High burden is difficult to discharge. High burden is difficult to discharge. Police refusal to file complaints by victims under the CC. Police refusal to file complaints by victims under the CC. General perception that such cases are private & should never be put in the public realm. General perception that such cases are private & should never be put in the public realm.

9 Existing Legal Framework on VAW Criminal Law (3) Punishment for rape in the CC is life imprisonment. Punishment for rape in the CC is life imprisonment. However, the law requires corroboration, which makes proof of the offence an arduous task & provides for the court to remind itself of the danger of convicting on the uncorroborated evidence of victim. However, the law requires corroboration, which makes proof of the offence an arduous task & provides for the court to remind itself of the danger of convicting on the uncorroborated evidence of victim. Section 221 CC – Section 221 CC – penalty of 2 years imprisonment for unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl being above 13 years and under 16 years of age penalty of 2 years imprisonment for unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl being above 13 years and under 16 years of age it is a defense under the section that the accused person believed that the girl was above 16 years. it is a defense under the section that the accused person believed that the girl was above 16 years. prosecution must have begun within 2 months after the offence was committed or it lapses prosecution must have begun within 2 months after the offence was committed or it lapses there must be corroboration to secure a conviction – usually no witness in such offences. there must be corroboration to secure a conviction – usually no witness in such offences. While indecent assault on a girl is a misdemeanour, indecent assault of a boy is a felony that carries a stiffer penalty. While indecent assault on a girl is a misdemeanour, indecent assault of a boy is a felony that carries a stiffer penalty. Sentences are inadequate Sentences are inadequate

10 Existing Legal Framework on VAW – Sharia Legal Code Rape is criminalized in the Sharia Penal Laws introduced from northern states. Rape is criminalized in the Sharia Penal Laws introduced from northern states. Insufficient protection or redress for women who have been raped & discriminates against married women. Insufficient protection or redress for women who have been raped & discriminates against married women. Definition of rape falls short of the principles underlying the Rome statute definition. Definition of rape falls short of the principles underlying the Rome statute definition. Sexual intercourse by a man with his wife is not rape. Sexual intercourse by a man with his wife is not rape. Under the Kano Sharia Penal Code rape carries different penalties according to marital status of the perpetrator. Under the Kano Sharia Penal Code rape carries different penalties according to marital status of the perpetrator. Punishable with death by stoning if the perpetrator is married, caning & up to life imprisonment if the perpetrator is unmarried. Punishable with death by stoning if the perpetrator is married, caning & up to life imprisonment if the perpetrator is unmarried. A woman alleging rape must produce 4 witnesses or go to imprisonment for one year or up to 100 lashes. A woman alleging rape must produce 4 witnesses or go to imprisonment for one year or up to 100 lashes.

11 Existing Legal Framework on VAW – Marriage & Divorce Laws (1) Some provisions of Nigerian laws reduce ability of women to escape violent relationships. Some provisions of Nigerian laws reduce ability of women to escape violent relationships. Ground for the dissolution of marriage under the Matrimonial Causes Act is irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Ground for the dissolution of marriage under the Matrimonial Causes Act is irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Lists a series of conduct for which the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent - one of which is cruelty. Lists a series of conduct for which the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent - one of which is cruelty. Petitioner has to satisfy the court that the respondent has been convicted of attempted murder or attempt to unlawfully kill her; etc. Petitioner has to satisfy the court that the respondent has been convicted of attempted murder or attempt to unlawfully kill her; etc. This conviction is necessary for the woman to get out of the relationship lawfully. This conviction is necessary for the woman to get out of the relationship lawfully. Courts do not consider a single act of cruelty sufficient to evoke the application of that section of the law. Courts do not consider a single act of cruelty sufficient to evoke the application of that section of the law.

12 Existing Legal Framework on VAW – Marriage & Divorce Laws (2) Right to reside in the matrimonial home is missing in all our laws. Right to reside in the matrimonial home is missing in all our laws. The matrimonial home belongs to the husband under the culture. The matrimonial home belongs to the husband under the culture. Without the recognition of a right to reside, divorce laws provide little support to women in violent situations. Without the recognition of a right to reside, divorce laws provide little support to women in violent situations. Root cause of the vulnerability of a woman in her matrimonial home. Root cause of the vulnerability of a woman in her matrimonial home. A major factor making it possible to drive out a woman & blackmail her into agreeing to an unfair settlement. A major factor making it possible to drive out a woman & blackmail her into agreeing to an unfair settlement. Breakdown of marriage in our society with its attendant discrimination means virtual civil death for women. Breakdown of marriage in our society with its attendant discrimination means virtual civil death for women. Divorce law has no answer for women who do not want a divorce but want to end the violence. Divorce law has no answer for women who do not want a divorce but want to end the violence.

13 Existing Legal Framework on VAW – Trafficking Laws. In 2003, the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement & Administration Act was passed. In 2003, the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement & Administration Act was passed. Government followed up with an implementation agency - National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP). Government followed up with an implementation agency - National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP). Since 2003, the war against human trafficking has been diligent under NAPTIP. Since 2003, the war against human trafficking has been diligent under NAPTIP. Act was amended in 2005 to increase penalties. Act was amended in 2005 to increase penalties. procurement of persons for illicit sexual intercourse with another (10 years imprisonment), procurement of persons for illicit sexual intercourse with another (10 years imprisonment), procurement for prostitution (14 years), etc. procurement for prostitution (14 years), etc. NAPTIP – to enforce the law, coordinate other laws against trafficking & adopt measures to eradicate trafficking. NAPTIP – to enforce the law, coordinate other laws against trafficking & adopt measures to eradicate trafficking.

14 Existing Legal Framework on VAW – State Laws (1) No national law against HTPs before No national law against HTPs before Subsequent state laws prohibiting HTPs include Subsequent state laws prohibiting HTPs include Edo State Female Circumcision & Genital Mutilation (Prohibition) Law (1999), Edo State Female Circumcision & Genital Mutilation (Prohibition) Law (1999), Cross River State Girl-Child Marriages & Female Circumcision (Prohibition) Law (2000), Cross River State Girl-Child Marriages & Female Circumcision (Prohibition) Law (2000), Rivers State Abolition of Female Circumcision Law (2001), Rivers State Abolition of Female Circumcision Law (2001), Ogun State Female Circumcision & Genital Mutilation (Prohibition) Law (2000), Ogun State Female Circumcision & Genital Mutilation (Prohibition) Law (2000), Ebonyi State Abolition of HTPs Against Women & Children Law (2001). Ebonyi State Abolition of HTPs Against Women & Children Law (2001). These laws have criminalized FGM & prescribed penalties for offenders, though extremely inadequate. These laws have criminalized FGM & prescribed penalties for offenders, though extremely inadequate.

15 Existing Legal Framework on VAW – State Laws (2) State laws on the fundamental rights of widows widowers: State laws on the fundamental rights of widows widowers: Enugu State Prohibition of Infringement of Widow’s and Widower’s Fundamental Rights Law (2001); Enugu State Prohibition of Infringement of Widow’s and Widower’s Fundamental Rights Law (2001); Oyo State Widows’ Empowerment Law, 2002; Oyo State Widows’ Empowerment Law, 2002; Anambra State Malpractices against Widows & Widowers (Prohibition) Law in 2004; Anambra State Malpractices against Widows & Widowers (Prohibition) Law in 2004; Edo State Inhuman Treatment of Widows (Prohibition) Law 2004; Edo State Inhuman Treatment of Widows (Prohibition) Law 2004; Ekiti State Widowhood Law. Ekiti State Widowhood Law.

16 Administration of Justice Sector Reforms (1) Government set up a committee on reform of justice sector. Government set up a committee on reform of justice sector. Worked with the LRC to review laws – Has submitted report but yet to be passed. Worked with the LRC to review laws – Has submitted report but yet to be passed. Women submitted memoranda, recommending victim & witness protection provisions in DV cases. Women submitted memoranda, recommending victim & witness protection provisions in DV cases. A Government draft bill on DV was harmonized with VAW bill. A Government draft bill on DV was harmonized with VAW bill. Committee on Review of Discriminatory Laws against Women, 2005 – NHR Commission. Committee on Review of Discriminatory Laws against Women, 2005 – NHR Commission. “Abolition of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in Nigeria & Other Related Matters Act 2006” - pending before NASS. “Abolition of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in Nigeria & Other Related Matters Act 2006” - pending before NASS.

17 Administration of Justice Sector Reforms – Domestication of International Conventions (2) Child’s Rights Act, first national law to put the age of marriage at 18 years. Child’s Rights Act, first national law to put the age of marriage at 18 years. Act incorporates basic principles of UN Convention on Rights of the Child. Act incorporates basic principles of UN Convention on Rights of the Child. Act criminalizes HTPs against the girl child. Act criminalizes HTPs against the girl child. Act establishes a child justice system different from the regular court procedure. Act establishes a child justice system different from the regular court procedure. Nigeria has incorporated the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights. Nigeria has incorporated the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights. Provides for right to dignity & prohibits all forms of exploitation & degradation. Provides for right to dignity & prohibits all forms of exploitation & degradation.

18 Background of VAW Bill (1) The Women’s Tribunal VAW had long been trivialised in Nigeria, people refused to recognise the extent of domestic violence & abuse. VAW had long been trivialised in Nigeria, people refused to recognise the extent of domestic violence & abuse. No gender disaggregated verifiable data on VAW No gender disaggregated verifiable data on VAW No government effort to address it. No government effort to address it. In 2001, CIRDDOC & BAOBAB organised a mock tribunal on VAW - to break the silence around VAW. In 2001, CIRDDOC & BAOBAB organised a mock tribunal on VAW - to break the silence around VAW. 33 women & girls told a panel of respected judges their stories of abuse including rape, incest, wife battery, murder, attempted murder, trafficking etc. 33 women & girls told a panel of respected judges their stories of abuse including rape, incest, wife battery, murder, attempted murder, trafficking etc. National media coverage & Large audience. National media coverage & Large audience. Testimony of the women brought many to tears. Testimony of the women brought many to tears. Judges returned a verdict - powerful recommendations including legislation. Judges returned a verdict - powerful recommendations including legislation.

19 Background of VAW Bill (2) The Women’s Tribunal Tribunal was timed to correspond with democratic elections so newly elected legislators would gain greater perspective on the issue & be confronted with the need to include it in their schedule of legislation. Tribunal was timed to correspond with democratic elections so newly elected legislators would gain greater perspective on the issue & be confronted with the need to include it in their schedule of legislation. Promoted greater public appreciation of VAW. Promoted greater public appreciation of VAW. It had a striking impact, & the women’s testimony moved witnesses to look at the issue of VAW & demand action. It had a striking impact, & the women’s testimony moved witnesses to look at the issue of VAW & demand action. It added faces, stories & experiences to the statistics of VAW to give greater weight to the issue. It added faces, stories & experiences to the statistics of VAW to give greater weight to the issue. Participants: Government & law enforcement agencies, ministries, LG officials, UN agencies, cultural & religious leaders, schools, donors, NGOs & individuals. Participants: Government & law enforcement agencies, ministries, LG officials, UN agencies, cultural & religious leaders, schools, donors, NGOs & individuals.

20 Background of VAW Bill (3) The Women’s Tribunal Legislators pledged their support for a VAW Bill. Legislators pledged their support for a VAW Bill. It raised awareness about VAW, & actively engaged journalists who continued to highlight the issue more regularly in their reporting. It raised awareness about VAW, & actively engaged journalists who continued to highlight the issue more regularly in their reporting. It created a reference point for the discussion of women’s human rights & VAW. It created a reference point for the discussion of women’s human rights & VAW. National & state level legislation to protect women were developed as a result of the tribunals & other interventions. National & state level legislation to protect women were developed as a result of the tribunals & other interventions. Cross River state tribunal took place earlier in 1999 & 2 years later the Northern CRS Women Assoc. successfully lobbied for a law against FGM. Cross River state tribunal took place earlier in 1999 & 2 years later the Northern CRS Women Assoc. successfully lobbied for a law against FGM.

21 Background of the Violence Prohibition Bill As a result of these interventions & disillusionment arising from inadequacies of existing laws & their failure to protect women As a result of these interventions & disillusionment arising from inadequacies of existing laws & their failure to protect women Women’s rights activists came together to form an umbrella organization – National Coalition on VAW Women’s rights activists came together to form an umbrella organization – National Coalition on VAW To join forces to move the socio-cultural phenomenon from a private space into the public sphere. To join forces to move the socio-cultural phenomenon from a private space into the public sphere. Serious work on combating the menace. Serious work on combating the menace. Consensus was that legislation was necessary. Consensus was that legislation was necessary. Legislative Advocacy Coalition on VAW was therefore established. Legislative Advocacy Coalition on VAW was therefore established. Members presented the VAW bill before the NASS. Members presented the VAW bill before the NASS. Legislative advocacy commenced but the former NASS failed to pass the bill before its life came to an end. Legislative advocacy commenced but the former NASS failed to pass the bill before its life came to an end.

22 Rationale & Key Features of the Violence Prohibition Bill (1) Title: Violence Prohibition Bill. Title: Violence Prohibition Bill. Prohibits all forms of Violence Prohibits all forms of Violence Physical, Physical, Sexual, Sexual, Psychological, Psychological, Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence, HTPs; HTPs; Discrimination against Women; Discrimination against Women; Provides remedies for Victims; Provides remedies for Victims; Establishes a Commission & a Trust Fund for victims. Establishes a Commission & a Trust Fund for victims. Purpose: to prevent violence, punish offenders & restore a woman to a position of equality within the marriage. Purpose: to prevent violence, punish offenders & restore a woman to a position of equality within the marriage. Precondition - to stop the violence promptly. Precondition - to stop the violence promptly.

23 Rationale & Key Features of the Violence Prohibition Bill (2) A successful law on DV will include some basic provisions - a clear declaration of the basic intent of the law, namely, a clear declaration of the basic intent of the law, namely, the object of preventing domestic violence; the object of preventing domestic violence; a clear & unambiguous statement of the right to be free from DV a clear & unambiguous statement of the right to be free from DV recognition of DV as a violation of the human rights of women; recognition of DV as a violation of the human rights of women; Definition of DV which captures women’s experience of abuse with some degree of precision; Definition of DV which captures women’s experience of abuse with some degree of precision; Definition of the ‘shared household’ so that rights can be protected within that household; Definition of the ‘shared household’ so that rights can be protected within that household; Relief that can be given to protect women from violence; Relief that can be given to protect women from violence; Infrastructure available to victims of violence that can make the remedy accessible e.g. clarity & simplicity of court procedures; Infrastructure available to victims of violence that can make the remedy accessible e.g. clarity & simplicity of court procedures; Monitoring the functioning of the law; Monitoring the functioning of the law; Coordinated response to DV by recognizing the role of NGOs, medical profession, shelters & police in assisting prevention of DV. Coordinated response to DV by recognizing the role of NGOs, medical profession, shelters & police in assisting prevention of DV.

24 Rationale & Key Features of the Violence Prohibition Bill (3) Original name: “VAW Bill”, later changed to “Violence (Prohibition) Bill, Original name: “VAW Bill”, later changed to “Violence (Prohibition) Bill, Men also suffer DV & should be protected also. Men also suffer DV & should be protected also. 25 volunteer sponsors - 10 female & 15 male. 25 volunteer sponsors - 10 female & 15 male. Massive production & wide distribution. Massive production & wide distribution. Criminal & Civil components to fill in the inadequacies in the existing legal regime. Criminal & Civil components to fill in the inadequacies in the existing legal regime. Recognition of a woman’s right to a life free from violence. Recognition of a woman’s right to a life free from violence. An effort to codify common law - recognises a woman’s right to reside in her matrimonial home. An effort to codify common law - recognises a woman’s right to reside in her matrimonial home.

25 Key Features of the Bill It repeals inadequate laws It incorporates Gang Rape It establishes a Trust Fund for victims of VAW It defines domestic violence, domestic relationship, violence, a child. It provides the following remedies a. Criminal sanctions b. Compensation c. Emergency Monetary relief d. Protection Order/Interim Protection Order d. Custody order e. Interim orders

26 Infrastructure under the law Special desks in police stations Special desks in police stations Special training for officers who handle sexual offences. Special training for officers who handle sexual offences. Rape Crisis Centres Rape Crisis Centres Victims’ Trust Fund Victims’ Trust Fund VAW Commission to VAW Commission to monitor implementation of the Act when passed, monitor implementation of the Act when passed, administering the operation of the Trust Fund administering the operation of the Trust Fund manage the Rape Crisis Centre etc. manage the Rape Crisis Centre etc. Courts empowered to deal with applications Courts empowered to deal with applications Medical facilities & shelter homes to provide services to aggrieved women. Medical facilities & shelter homes to provide services to aggrieved women.

27 Commonalities & differences in legal approaches in Nigeria (1) Commonalities & differences in legal approaches in Nigeria (1) Legal Defense & Assistance Project (LEDAP) DV bill project at state level - At least 2 states passed the law. Legal Defense & Assistance Project (LEDAP) DV bill project at state level - At least 2 states passed the law. LEDAP DV bill is quasi criminal & quasi civil in nature. LEDAP DV bill is quasi criminal & quasi civil in nature. Perpetrators who disobey court order or prohibition in the law is to be arrested & punished. Perpetrators who disobey court order or prohibition in the law is to be arrested & punished. Criminal proceedings require long procedures & depend on efforts of the investigating & prosecuting police officer Criminal proceedings require long procedures & depend on efforts of the investigating & prosecuting police officer Women encounter obstacles in the course of the process. Women encounter obstacles in the course of the process. Policemen refuse to file their complaints Policemen refuse to file their complaints Relevant technical documents - medical report etc. are difficult to get. Relevant technical documents - medical report etc. are difficult to get. Women are afraid to file criminal complaints because Women are afraid to file criminal complaints because they fear that the incarceration of their husbands would result in a loss of face or social status for the family they fear that the incarceration of their husbands would result in a loss of face or social status for the family their husbands would become more violent after incarceration or their husbands would become more violent after incarceration or they would be left without a source of income if the husband is sent to jail. they would be left without a source of income if the husband is sent to jail. they do not wish to place their children in a situation where they will have to see their father in jail. they do not wish to place their children in a situation where they will have to see their father in jail.

28 Commonalities & differences in legal approaches in Nigeria (2) LEDAP DV bill aims only at protecting the survivor from violence within the home. LEDAP DV bill aims only at protecting the survivor from violence within the home. Protection order will provide women with other means of ending the violence to which they are subjected. Protection order will provide women with other means of ending the violence to which they are subjected. The civil justice process will involve less complicated & quicker legal proceedings. The civil justice process will involve less complicated & quicker legal proceedings. The order compels the spouse to continue to provide for his family during the time he is under legal sanction & counseling. The order compels the spouse to continue to provide for his family during the time he is under legal sanction & counseling. Different state HTP laws adopted different approaches. Different state HTP laws adopted different approaches. Most of them are quasi-criminal in nature. Most of them are quasi-criminal in nature. Each state law dealt with an aspect of violence or two. Each state law dealt with an aspect of violence or two.

29 Effectiveness of Laws on VAW (1) Violence Prohibition Bill is yet to be passed. Violence Prohibition Bill is yet to be passed. Criminal laws involve protracted legal proceedings; & do not allow for negotiations. Criminal laws involve protracted legal proceedings; & do not allow for negotiations. Difficulty in accessing existing laws led to conception of a VAW law. Difficulty in accessing existing laws led to conception of a VAW law. State VAW laws are not implemented. State VAW laws are not implemented. Lack of political will. Lack of political will. No record of the budgetary provision. No record of the budgetary provision. Anti-trafficking programs are underfinanced & inadequately supported. Anti-trafficking programs are underfinanced & inadequately supported. FGN’s commitment to the war against trafficking in human persons through NAPTIP is yielding results. FGN’s commitment to the war against trafficking in human persons through NAPTIP is yielding results.

30 Effectiveness of Laws on VAW (2) Activities of NAPTIP “Bursting” of trafficking syndicates. “Bursting” of trafficking syndicates. Repatriation & rehabilitation of victims of trafficking. Repatriation & rehabilitation of victims of trafficking. Punishment of culprits. Punishment of culprits. In 2006, government reported 81 trafficking investigations, 23 prosecutions & 3 convictions. In 2006, government reported 81 trafficking investigations, 23 prosecutions & 3 convictions. Sentences imposed on traffickers were inadequate. Sentences imposed on traffickers were inadequate. NAPTIP shelters in 6 cities provide victims with short term care. NAPTIP shelters in 6 cities provide victims with short term care. In 2006, the government developed a national action plan against trafficking. In 2006, the government developed a national action plan against trafficking. By 2007, Nigeria moved from tier 2 watch list to tier 2, which, according to the ES of NAPTIP, is a great achievement for the country. By 2007, Nigeria moved from tier 2 watch list to tier 2, which, according to the ES of NAPTIP, is a great achievement for the country.

31 Challenges Patriarchal mindset of the general public, legislators, government structures & civil society. Patriarchal mindset of the general public, legislators, government structures & civil society. Political environment took legislative attention away from duties. Political environment took legislative attention away from duties. Impeachment fever that gripped the Assemblies & 3rd term bid of Mr. president distracted them. Impeachment fever that gripped the Assemblies & 3rd term bid of Mr. president distracted them. Lack of evidence based data on VAW contributed in the non-passage of the law. Lack of evidence based data on VAW contributed in the non-passage of the law. Lack of awareness of existence of the laws. Lack of awareness of existence of the laws. Lack of political will to allocate adequate resources to support implementation of laws. Lack of political will to allocate adequate resources to support implementation of laws. Institutions & Homes necessary for the implementation of the laws are not covered in the budgets. Institutions & Homes necessary for the implementation of the laws are not covered in the budgets. Lack of resources on the part of victims. Lack of resources on the part of victims.

32 Lessons learnt Coalition building & capacity building for NGOs are necessary for successful legislative advocacy. Coalition building & capacity building for NGOs are necessary for successful legislative advocacy. Failure to sensitise the community, women & the “gate keepers” about the bill led to a backlash. Failure to sensitise the community, women & the “gate keepers” about the bill led to a backlash. Massive dissemination of the contents of the law imperative for successful implementation. Massive dissemination of the contents of the law imperative for successful implementation. Legislation gives legitimacy to the campaign to end VAW & provides incentive for the involvement of government & local authorities. Legislation gives legitimacy to the campaign to end VAW & provides incentive for the involvement of government & local authorities. Legislation is an obligation to initiate or support the efforts to combat violence. Legislation is an obligation to initiate or support the efforts to combat violence. VAW must be recognised as a social problem at the local level, to make it easier to secure support for the proposed legislation. VAW must be recognised as a social problem at the local level, to make it easier to secure support for the proposed legislation. Political environment can have a strong influence on the way society perceives the project. Political environment can have a strong influence on the way society perceives the project. Distraction of legislators by political environment contributed to the failure to pass the bill. Distraction of legislators by political environment contributed to the failure to pass the bill. The executive needs to be targeted in the advocacy plan as implementation of a law is its responsibility. The executive needs to be targeted in the advocacy plan as implementation of a law is its responsibility.

33 Good practices (1) Building coalition building and partnership among the stakeholders. Building coalition building and partnership among the stakeholders. Involving different institutions in the drafting of the bill brought in different perspectives to the bill. Involving different institutions in the drafting of the bill brought in different perspectives to the bill. Management transparency coordination of the project by a Steering Committee of stakeholders ensured a level of trust to the project by different persons. Management transparency coordination of the project by a Steering Committee of stakeholders ensured a level of trust to the project by different persons. Establishment of partnerships between CSOs & government contributed to the little success achieved in the project Establishment of partnerships between CSOs & government contributed to the little success achieved in the project Using media as an ally – partly because of the sensational nature of the topic, mass media campaign helped to raise awareness of the problem & sensitized the government & legislators. Using media as an ally – partly because of the sensational nature of the topic, mass media campaign helped to raise awareness of the problem & sensitized the government & legislators.

34 Good Practices (2) Ensuring that the contents of the bill respected the culture of the place – right of residence. Ensuring that the contents of the bill respected the culture of the place – right of residence. Enlisting support of high profile legislators and government officials was a good practice. Enlisting support of high profile legislators and government officials was a good practice. Framing sensitive issues in a culturally appropriate context is important. Framing sensitive issues in a culturally appropriate context is important. Simplifying and translating existing laws into local languages as well as including a simple guide on how to use the laws (particularly at the state and local levels) will improve the level of implementation and effectiveness of the laws. Simplifying and translating existing laws into local languages as well as including a simple guide on how to use the laws (particularly at the state and local levels) will improve the level of implementation and effectiveness of the laws. Building & strengthening the capacity of the Legal Aid Council to make the implementation of the laws on VAW a core focus of their services. Building & strengthening the capacity of the Legal Aid Council to make the implementation of the laws on VAW a core focus of their services.

35 Conclusion The different approaches have yielded credible results from which a number of lessons can be drawn. The different approaches have yielded credible results from which a number of lessons can be drawn. Although the Violence Prohibition bill was not passed into law before the end of the life of the former legislature, a lot of lessons were learnt and these would guide the next phase of advocacy on the bill when it resumes. Although the Violence Prohibition bill was not passed into law before the end of the life of the former legislature, a lot of lessons were learnt and these would guide the next phase of advocacy on the bill when it resumes. Capacity building is needed for CSOs to ensure that they become an important social force capable of influencing the male dominated and patriarchal legislature to pass the bill into law. Capacity building is needed for CSOs to ensure that they become an important social force capable of influencing the male dominated and patriarchal legislature to pass the bill into law.


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