The Cross River State Government has been urged to adopt the Violence Against Persons Prohibition VAPP Act 2015 to enhance the fight to eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls.
Participants at a three- day National Communication Strategy on Ending Gender Based Violence and Harmful Practices Contextualization in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, south-south Nigeria made the appeal during the conference.
The participants, who include legal practitioners, civil society groups, the media and representatives of the ministries of women affairs, health and humanitarian affairs, said that Cross River was one of the six states in Nigeria yet to adopt the law.
According to one of the participants who is the Head of Programmes, GPI, and CSO reference group member for the Spotlight Initiative Project said “there are less than 26 states in Nigeria that have adopted VAPP Act.
It is discouraging that a State like Cross River which is always at the forefront of many issues would be lagging behind.
“From the infographic on the adoption of VAPP across Nigeria, Cross River State is clearly not in the green or amber zone, but we have been on it.
We have started the process.
We have engaged the House of Assembly and waiting for the second reading”.
Ensuring passage of the billAnother participant who is a legal practitioner and chairperson of Basic Rights Council, BRC, affirmed that a coalition of civil society groups is taking up the fight to ensure that the state assembly passes the VAPP Act in Cross River State.
Ibor stated that “we have had second reading on the VAPP bill and hopefully as soon as the House of Assembly resumes, public hearing will be conducted.
The commitment we got from them when we interacted with the lawmakers earlier courtesy of Project Alert, assured that as soon as they resume, they will expedite action to pass the VAPP bill into law in Cross River.
“But, let me use this opportunity to call on the Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade to accent to the law especially as a gift to women marking the 16 days of activism for the protection of women and to end violence against women and girls,” he added.
Violence Against Persons Prohibition VAPP Act was passed in 2015 and the main thrust of the law is to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibit all forms of violence against persons to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders and for other related matters.
Cross River Government urged to adopt VAPP Law