The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that the state government has advanced a number of policies and legislations to uphold human rights in the state, noting that the rule of law remains a major cornerstone of his administration’s policy drive.
The governor said this in commemoration of the Human Rights Day, marked every December 10, by the United Nation. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the day, which observance began in 1948, the year the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The governor said that the state government places huge premium on human rights, which is why a number of reforms and policies pushed by government are those that uphold the dignity of man and places no one above the law.
According to him, “As we mark Human Rights Day, it is instructive that we as a government, demonstrates a commitment to upholding the rights of every Edo resident. From the Child Rights Law; to the Law for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons; and efforts at checking child abuse; as well as reforms in property rights and a number of other such legislations and policies, we are enthroning respect for every citizen’s right as a key aspect of our development efforts.
“We have through the law prohibiting trafficking in persons set up the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking (ETAHT), which will ensure the prosecution of persons who debase the dignity of others in form of human trafficking for pecuniary gains. We have recorded tremendous support from the international community in these efforts and we intend to intensify the campaign.”
Noting that the state government doesn’t take lightly the task to protect children from predatory paedophiles, he said, “We have launched an all-out war against sexual predators in our midst to ensure that the rights of children are protected. This is part of the overall strategy to enforce the Child Rights Law.”
The governor also noted that the state government is in the process of setting up the office of the public defender for those without access to legal representation and has set up a committee on the prerogative of mercy to help decongest prisons.
According to the UN, “Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10 – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Human Rights Day marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.”