FG to establish mobile courts to prosecute sexual offenders

 

The federal government is to establish mobile courts to attend to issues relating to sexual harassment.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, made this known at a one-day National Stakeholder’s Engagement on Sexual Harassment Prevention on Tuesday in Abuja.

The ICPC organised the event in collaboration with the Gender Mobile Initiative.

Ms Kennedy-Ohanenye decried the high rate of sexual harassment in schools, especially in tertiary institutions across the country. However, she said the measures being put in place would tackle the menace.


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“We are also working in collaboration with hotel owners to deny access to under-aged children from lodging and report any such attempts to security operatives to curb the terrible sexual harassment problems,” the minister said.

She urged stakeholders to rise to the challenge by ensuring that sexual harassment is brought to the barest minimum to address the problems of stigmatisation and low self-esteem among victims.

Speaking, the chairman of the ICPC, Musa Aliyu Aliyu, raised the concern that until there are heavy consequences for offenders, the menace will continue to increase.

Mr Aliyu, also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), noted that sexual harassment and other related societal ills, including gender discrimination, are tarnishing the nation’s reputation.

“Only a consistent, persistent, focused and united campaign can ensure that the challenge of sexual harassment in tertiary institutions is decisively addressed,’’ he said.

He said the commission engaged the Gender Mobile Initiative to draft a model policy for tertiary institutions, and the Federal Ministry of Education approved the policies for primary and tertiary institutions.

“It is a notorious fact that Nigeria has so many laws and policies, but many of them are not being correctly implemented.

“Therefore, proper implementation of the model policies cannot be over-emphasised. The success of this initiative largely depends on the active participation and commitment of stakeholders,’’ he said.

The founder and executive director of Gender Mobile Initiative, Omowumi Ogunrotimi, urged stakeholders to consider prevention rather than a response framework.

 

[Peoples Gazette]

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