RoLAC, NAPTIP task media on coverage of sexual offences

 Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme, an NGO,
and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) urged
media to increase awareness on the effects of sexual offences and prosecution as deterrent to others.

They gave the task during Media Launch of Sex Offenders and Service Providers Register of
Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Sex Offender’s Register is a system designed to allow government authorities to keep
track of activities of sex offenders, including those who completed their sentences.

Priscilla Ankut, the Component Manager, Access to Justice for Women, Children and Persons with
Disabilities of RoLAC,  said NAPTIP and EU RoLAC programme had started a process of
establishing digital sex offenders and service providers register for Nigeria, which would be accessed globally.

She said “the register is a documentation of cases of reported, arraigned/accused or convicted
sex violations as defined by the Violence Against persons (prohibition) Act (VAPP) 2015.”

She added that the register, which would be opened to public and security agencies in September,
would contain data of those convicted on the website, while other categories could be accessed based on request.

She explained that the service provider database would be a collation of various NGOs, government,
faith-based organisations providing shelter, counseling, legal, financial, vocational, educational,
medical or other assistance to victims and survivors of domestic violence working nationwide in Nigeria.

“This way, the digital platform becomes a resource for deterring sex offenders and providing services where needed.

“And we believe that a public website where offenders are named and shamed will deter others.”

The Director-General of NAPTIP, Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, said collaboration among law enforcement
agencies, media and relevant stakeholders remained the panacea for effective crime prevention in the country.

According to her, the media should report and make rape cases a priority, as well as monitor it to ensure
that culprits are prosecuted.

The NAPTIP boss added that “it is not enough to report a case, but follow-up to put everyone on their
toes to let people know that others are watching, until perpetrators are jailed.”

She also tasked health workers, particularly doctors, to be “duty-bound and report such cases to
necessary authorities as soon as it comes to their domain.”

Jedy-Agba urged the public to report trafficking and sexual abuse cases to the agency and
reiterated NAPTIP’s commitment to protecting victims and ensuring that justice prevailed.

On his part, the Chairman, FCT Council of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Emmanuel
Ogbeche, reiterated the commitment of members toward reporting sexual offences and educating
the public on the menace.

He said “for us at NUJ, we welcome this development and hopefully, we will pursue this
advocacy to ensure that our communities are safe for minors, young adults and other persons.”

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