Immediate Press Release
Alliances for Africa (AfA) is most delighted on the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill, VAPP, in the Imo state House of Assembly yesterday, July 27, 2021.
AfA in partnership with the Imo state Committee on Ending Violence against Women and Girls (ISCEVAWG) has been at the fore of demanding the speedy enactment and enforcement of the VAPP bill in Imo state for the protection of the citizenry, especially women and girls who account for the majority of victims and survivors of sexual gender-based violence.
The Violence Against Person Prohibition bill is the single law in place that transcends the criminal and penal code in guaranteeing justice and protection of the rights and properties of victims of sexual and gender-based violence by its expansion of the definition of rape, domestic offenses, incest, and several forms of violence. It ensures justice and protection of victims in a way that guarantees freedom compensation and respect for human rights. More so, it upholds the dignity and rights of men and women equally.
In our continuous push for the domestication of the VAPP, we have engaged several organizations including, Civil society organizations, Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, through public hearings, policy briefing, press briefing, advocacies, and media sensitizations all in a bid to mobilize support for the adoption of the VAPP.
As a feminist organization with the welfare of women and girls as our core priority, this milestone means a lot to us. We appreciate in no small measure, the Lawmaker representing the Njaba State constituency, Hon. Uju Onwudiwe sponsored the bill and has not relented in following it up to the latter. We also appreciate the Imo state Committee on Ending Violence against Women and Girls, ISCEVAWG for their unwavering commitment to this great cause.
While we celebrate this feat as a step towards achieving the goal, we recognize that the Imo state VAPP bill in its current state is not yet a working document as it is yet to be assented to, by the Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodinma. The provisions for response and reintegration of survivors of violence including the establishment of a sexual assault referral center (SARC), a shelter for the safeguarding of survivors from abusers, and other outstanding legal provisions, cannot be utilized until the enactment of the VAPP as a Law in the state.
On this note, we call on the Executive Governor of the State, Sen Hope Uzodinma to immediately assent to the VAPP Bill for the protection of the citizenry.
About AfA: AfA is an international African-led non-governmental human rights, peace, and sustainable development organization. AfA works with partners in, around, and beyond the continent of Africa to advocate for the protection of human rights; promote women’s participation in leadership and governance; build institutional capacity, advocate for gender justice, equality and non-discrimination, as well as promote peace, security and conflict resolution interventions. AFA was created to enhance and reconstruct the interface of human rights and development, with a vision to contribute innovatively to the task of tackling causes of endemic poverty and exclusion in Africa.