UNODC Builds Capacity of Trainers on Gender in Terrorism

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Bennett Oghifo

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has trained 20 officials from Nigeria’s criminal justice system and training institutions, security and defence sectors, the bar and civil society on gender dimensions of criminal justice responses to terrorism.

The training, which took place in Abuja, was based on a Nigeria-specific training module on ‘Gender Dimensions of Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism’, which the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) country office in Nigeria developed and which will be unveiled later in the year.

A statement issued Wednesday, by their Outreach and Communications Officer, Mr. Sylvester Atere, stated that those trained were being “equipped with the skills as trainers, as part of efforts to build the capacity of Nigerian justice sector practitioners to understand and respond to the different impact of counter-terrorism laws and practices on women and men, and to ensure respect for women’s rights in this context, as well as in the context of Nigerian justice sector institutions.”

They were joined by experts from UNODC, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, UN Women, and the African Union.

The workshop was part of the EU-Nigeria-UNODC-CTED Partnership Project III: Support for Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism and Violent Extremism, generously financed by the European Union.

The statement said, “Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) of UNODC has a specific role to play in international efforts. For over a decade, TPB has been the key United Nations entity providing legal counter-terrorism technical assistance to Member States. As mandated by the United Nations General Assembly, TPB works to assist Member States, upon request, with the ratification, legislative incorporation and implementation of the universal legal framework against terrorism.

“UNODC has developed several tools and issued various publications on counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism.”

According to them, “A 2018 report by the Lake Chad Commission and the African Union Commission ‘Regional Strategy for Stabilisation, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko-Haram-affected Areas of Lake Chad Basin’ gives insight into the various ways in which women have been affected by Boko Haram violence.

The report states that “the Lake Chad crisis has disproportionately affected women and girls. From being at the forefront of the displacement crisis to constituting the majority of victims of sexual exploitation and abuse, to suffering stigmatisation from association with different groups, women and girls are faced with different challenges than men and boys.”