Thank you Mr President, the Federation for Family Planning makes this statement on behalf of the Equality Triangle Initiative.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to make a statement on the adoption of the recommendations proposed to Nigeria at the 31st UPR Session in November 2018.
We thank the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for participating in the peer review process to strengthen its human rights protections for its citizen. We also thank all state parties that gave recommendations to Nigeria on the different issues that civil society raised.
Nigeria received over 60 recommendations relating to sexual and reproductive rights and health, including on violence and discrimination against women and girls, early and forced marriages, trafficking, harmful cultural practices, HIV and AIDS, SRHR services and general health services – the majority of these recommendations were accepted by Nigeria and we commend Nigeria for doing so.
However, as an organization representing the interests of LGBT persons in Nigeria, we are dismayed that the Nigerian Government continues to note recommendations that call for human rights protections, respect and fulfillment for all its citizens regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. This is against constitutionally guaranteed human rights of all persons in Nigeria. It is also a breach of the provisions of international human rights treaties and covenants that protect from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, which Nigeria is a signatory to. These include the ICCPR, the ICESCR, CEDAW, CAT and others.
In regards to recommendations proposed to the Nigerian government to protect, respect and fulfill the human rights of LGBT persons, the right to freedom of assembly and peaceful association occupied a central position. We are concerned that the noting of these recommendations, specifically the Freedom of Assembly and Peaceful Association for LGBT persons will reflect negatively on the lives of LGBT persons. Since the passage into law of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act 2014, LGBT organizations have recorded more that 1000 cases of human rights violation perpetrated by both state and non-state actors. LGBT persons continue to live in fear, heightening their susceptibility to mental health illness.
As the country again begins another 4.5 years to its next UPR, we urge Member States to continue in diplomatic advocacy with the Nigerian government with inputs from local advocates in ensuring that human rights violation based on perceived or real sexual orientation and gender identity is eliminated and that reforms to discriminatory and repressive laws on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity is expunged from legislations in Nigeria. We urge the National Human Rights Commission to include within its priorities human rights violations based on perceived or real sexual orientation and gender identity and work with LGBT civil society in addressing these violations.