UNODC, UN, Others Partner to Address War Crimes, Sexual Violence

Ugo Aliogo

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Wayamo Foundation and the United Nations Team of Experts of the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, have conducted two capacity building workshops for Nigerian investigators and prosecutors on the investigation and prosecution of international crimes, with a special focus on conflict-related sexual violence.

A statement by UNODC, Communications Associate, Ms. Olivia Ogechi Okorondu, said the two workshops were conducted under the framework of the recently established project, “Strengthening Nigerian Capacity in the Investigation and Prosecution of International Crimes, with a Special Focus on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence” a joint initiative of the three entities.

The statement also noted that the project, which aims to increase accountability for acts of sexual violence allegedly committed by all parties to the conflict in Northeast Nigeria, seeks to build the capacity of prosecutors from the Federal Ministry of Justice’s Complex Case Group (CCG) and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Prosecution Hub.

The statement revealed that although conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) is not yet specifically recognized as a distinct offence under Nigerian law, the project aims to broaden the collective understanding of acts that amount to CRSV, such as sexual slavery, forced marriage, forced pregnancy, that fall outside more commonly acknowledged forms of sexual violence in Nigeria, such as rape and sexual harassment, captured by the Criminal Code, Penal Code and Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act.

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