SERAP seeks UN’s intervention on plight of Nigerian police trainees

The organisation wants a decent and humane training for Nigerian cops

As the United Nations Human Rights Council session opens this week in Geneva, Switzerland, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has sent a request to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, urging her to use her “good offices and position to publicly condemn the reports of dehumanizing and degrading conditions of police trainees across police colleges in Nigeria.”

The session of the Human Rights Council is scheduled to hold from February 25 -March 22, 2013.

SERAP also wants Ms. Pillay to “call or facilitate a public session of the UN Human Rights Council and civil society to discuss the problem with a view to putting pressure on the Nigerian government to urgently address and remedy the serious and systematic violation of the human rights of the trainees to human security and dignity, and to an adequate standard of living.”

In the petition signed by the solicitor to SERAP, Femi Falana, and sent to Ms. Pillay on Tuesday, the organisation said that, “publicly speaking out against the violations of the human rights of police trainees and holding of a public session on the treatment of police trainees in police colleges across Nigeria would contribute to putting pressure on the government to urgently take concrete, meaningful and transparent action to improve the conditions and treatment of the trainees, and consequently improve the ability of our law enforcement agencies to discharge their duties of maintaining law and order, and ensuring the safety and security of the citizens.”

“This is a crucial law enforcement issue to which your office is fully committed to addressing globally including in Nigeria. Unless the Nigerian government is held responsible for its failure to respect the right to human security and dignity of police trainees across police colleges in Nigeria, the government will not be able to meet up with its international legal obligations of maintaining law and order, and ensuring the safety and security of its citizens,” the organization also said.

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According to SERAP, the Nigerian government has breached its international human rights obligations and commitments by failing to spend allocated budgets meant to establish infrastructure and improve the conditions of police colleges in the country.

“It is impossible to produce capable, decent, efficient, knowledgeable and human rights friendly police personnel in such dehumanizing and degrading conditions. In fact, police recruits trained under such inhuman conditions have always unleashed violence on innocent members of the public,” the organization also stated.

Nigeria is a member of the Human Rights Council, and has ratified several UN human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

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