November 25, 2020

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual and Gender based Violence against Women:
NOA and PAACA call for domestication of VAPP Act.
As the world celebrates the International Day for the elimination of sexual and Gender based violence
Against women, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and Peering Advocacy and Advancement
Centre in Africa (PAACA) urge all responsible organs and institutions of government to wake up to
their responsibilities to curb criminality and protect all Nigerians especially women and children against
all kinds of violence.
We call for the domestication of the Child Rights Act and the Violence against Persons Prohibition
(VAPP) Act in the remaining 23 states of the federation where the Act is yet to be domesticated.
While the Covid-19 lock-down persisted, Nigerians lamented the increasing rate at which rape and other
forms of sexual domestic and gender based violence were soaring with over 3600 rape cases reported
within three months of the lock-down. This necessitated the declaration of a national state of emergency
on rape and sexual violence by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. Sadly, beyond the ceremonial
declaration, an alarming 23 states of the federation are yet to domesticate the VAPP Act, a piece of
legislation that presents the legal framework for tackling the menace.
The challenge of curbing the spate of sexual domestic and related gender based violence against women
in Nigeria has remained despite the promulgation of relevant legislation to address this evil over the
years. These laws have not been made effective due to several factors inhibiting the process of seeking
for justice for victims. Besides the dearth of adequate capacity by personnel charged with the
enforcement of the law, poor funding of relevant institutions and lack of political will to domesticate
relevant laws in addition to society’s negative disposition towards female victims of sexual violence
have deepened the culture of silence allowing the illicit act to thrive among communities in Nigeria.
As the world beams its searchlight on sexual domestic and gender based violence against women, we
call on all relevant stakeholders to take the opportunity of the vast awareness and global interventions
available to collaborate and commit to end this vice. We wish to emphasize that declaring a national
emergency on rape and sexual violence without domesticating the VAPP and Child Rights Acts is
tantamount to going for war without weapons, the battle will eventually be lost. We call for the
involvement of all relevant institutions to tackle the menace as well as improve the response system to
support victims.
We appreciate the efforts of patriotic Nigerians, and Civil Society Organizations in intensifying
awareness creation and providing the needed assistance and counseling for survivors of sexual assaults
in Nigeria.
The war against sexual violence in Nigeria can only be won when institutions, government and the
people collectively collaborate and Say No to sexual abuse, rape, and all forms of violence against
women and actively campaign for their rights, building an equitable society for all.
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Dr. Garba Abari, Director General, National Orientation Agency

Comrade Ezenwa Nwagwu, Executive Director, Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa

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