The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed the urgent need to Institute human rights framework to address the human rights concerns of over 10 million elderly persons in Nigeria.
The Director Human Rights Education and Promotion of the Commission, Muhammad Nasir Ladan (mni) stated this when he led a delegation of stakeholders to the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.
According to Ladan, the elderly in Nigeria suffer from neglect, loneliness, discrimination and many other human rights violations stressing that the African family ties that protected them in the past are being broken down by urban and economic drift.
Ladan stated that it was for this purpose that the Commission and other stakeholders are proposing regional conference on the “Human Rights Framework and situation of older persons living in Africa”, scheduled for November this year with the active collaboration of the ECOWAS Parliament.
“There is the need to advance the rights of this group of people especially those of them who suffer human rights violation in form of neglect, and lack of accesses to social amenities” he said.
Ladan therefore called for a strong partnership with stakeholders especially the ECOWAS Parliament to educate the public and leverage on its facilities for the participation of its parliamentarians to create awareness on this very important issue. “The participation of the ECOWAS Parliamentarians will have multiple effect in creating awareness on the rights of the elderly in the West African Sub-region” he added.
The co-chair of the stakeholders Group on Aging in Africa and the Executive Director Dave Omolawu Foundation, Dr. Emem Omokaro said the Conference will create an opportunity for the elderly to interact with stakeholders on issues of systemic violations that affect them.
She said stakeholders have worked tirelessly on issues affecting the elderly especially on the condition of the aged within the parameter of the agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).
In his response, the Secretary General of the ECOWAS Parliament Mr. John Azunah said that the issue of the rights of the elderly is very important and that it falls squarely within the competences of the ECOWAS Parliament.
He said the ECOWAS Parliament is obliged to work with the Commission to bring visibility to West Africa and to generate discussion on the issue, adding that there are so many infractions to the enjoyment of human rights which is a huge impediment to development in the sub-region.
The Secretary General pledged the co-operation of the ECOWAS Parliament to ensure the success of the conference slated for November this year.