The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday called for media action to tackle allegations of human rights abuses in Nigeria.
Mr Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary of The commission made the in Abuja during a Media interactive session on protection and promotion of human rights.
He said the media can do so through editorials, features, news analysis , commentaries among others.
“Our records show that although the Nigerian media has done a lot in the promotion of human rights, there is the need for them to do more.
“The violations of human rights as we have observed over the years is either as a result of impunity or share ignorance, meaning you have to do more.
“Consistent report of violation perpetrated with impunity could reduce such violations ” he said.
According to Ojukwu, Nation’s are judged by the nature of their human rights records in which every country would want to stand tall.
He added that those who perpetrate violations may have done tgat due to ignorance which could be corrected through awareness and education.
“It is your responsibility to bring to limelight such violations that are capable of destroying the country’s image to drive the government to nip them in the bud or account for them.
“This can be done through constant vigilance on infringement of human rights.
“It could also be done by exposing law enforcement agent’s brutality and repression and how victims can seek redress” he said.
He said further that the media could help in analysing existing laws that are in place for protecting human rights like the NHRC Act, Child Right Act among others.
Ojukwu added that media could also help in highlighting the inadequacy of fund to the commission.
” There is need for government to provide specific budget item for Rape and Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV)
“There is need for government and cooperate organisations to contribute to the human rights fund to galvanize human rights protection and promotion.
” Let us have a sustainable partnership , please continue to give us support and positive visibility.
“We are hoping that every year during our International Human Rights Day , we shall be able to recognise one journalist each gor your work as human rights defender” Ojukwu said.
Speaking, earlier, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche , Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ) chairman Abuja branch urged the commission to include the media in human rights protection and training.
He said many journalists have also suffered one abuse or the other in trying to perform his or her duty.
“Journalists need to be protected and cared for also and pledge that the Will have the support of the media.
“Today NHRC is doing the work of the National Orientation Agency ” he said.