In the spirit of celebration of the timely passage of the Imo State Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill, into law, yesterday December 15, 2021 by the Executive Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, there is need to strategize towards an effective implementation.
AfA is elated about this major milestone and appreciates all her partners including Education as Vaccine (EVA), the Imo State Committee on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (ISCEVAWG), the United Nations Trust Fund on Ending Violence Against Women, (UNTF-EVAWG), and other partners for their relentless efforts and remarkable contributions towards the passage of the Imo State VAPP Bill into Law. This is a win for us all.
Like every piece of legislation, the enforcement and implementation of the VAPP Act is crucial to the full enjoyment of its provisions. This involves immediate budgetary allocations from the state treasury for the establishment of the Violence Against Person’s Agency, the establishment of a Sexual Assault Referral Center (SARC) for case management, psychosocial support and reintegration of survivors into the society as well as a shelter to temporarily house survivors out of danger.
There is also a need for an active multi-sectoral action committee and a state Gender- Based Violence (GBV) rapid response team, to monitor the full implementation and enforcement of all the provisions enshrined in the VAPP Act.
The VAPP Act when fully implemented will guarantee access to justice and protection of the rights and properties, especially of women and girls who account for the majority of victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. It will ensure 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.
We call on the Imo State Government to consider the aforementioned recommendations as a step towards creating a violence-free Imo that will be a safe haven for all her citizens.
Executive Director, Alliances for Africa
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.