Obaseki backs UN’s call for action to change discriminatory laws

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Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has thrown his weight behind the United Nations’ call for global action against discriminatory laws in order to guarantee equality and inclusion.

According to Obaseki, “respect for people’s rights, irrespective of their classes or status, is a major force driving our ongoing reforms across all sectors of Edo State.”

The governor said this in commemoration of the United Nations Zero Discrimination Day, marked on March 1, each year.

According to him, “In Edo State, we are alive to the yearnings and aspirations of the physically challenged, women, children, people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), the disadvantaged and other vulnerable groups in society and have set out to eliminate man-made barriers hindering their progress.”

He noted that the Edo State Violence Against Persons Law, which he signed recently and the Child Right’s Law, have begun addressing violent behaviour in the state.

According to Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), “Human rights violations are happening all over the world because of discriminatory laws and practices.”

Sidibé emphasised that “Laws must protect, not cause harm. All countries must carefully examine their laws and policies in order to ensure equality and protection for all people, without exception.”

UNAIDS, the main advocate for accelerated, comprehensive and coordinated global action on the HIV/AIDS pandemic, noted that Zero Discrimination Day provides opportunity to highlight “equal dignity and worth of every person, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”