Advocacy Centre Creates Awareness on Human Rights in County Grammar School
Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) and Society for Women and Youths Affairs (SWAYA) on Thursday, 14th November, 2019 organised sensitization for students of County Grammar School, Ikwerre/Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State on human rights.
The program which was declared open by the Executive Director of SWAYA, Stella Amanie had students, teachers and the Principal of the school in attendance. Mrs. Amanie enjoined the students to listen attentively to the sensitization on human right that would be delivered to them shortly and asked questions for what they do not understand at the end of the lecture. She further said the students are “….fortunate to get this awareness at your age and at a time the Nigerian society is urgently in need of human right education especially social, economic and cultural rights which are indispensable for the free development of human personality”. Mrs. Amanie further said while the school offered opportunity for the students to learn new things, one of those new things are the human right education that SWAYA and YEAC have come to offer with the support of Development and peace.
Speaking as the Executive Director of Advocacy Centre, Mr. Fyneface Dumnamene thanked the school management for the opportunity to create awareness on human rights among its students and the principals of the two arms of both Junior and senior secondary schools for organizing the students for the sensitization.
Delivering the lecture on human rights to the students, Mr. Fyneface Dumnamene explored the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. He further briefly traced how the human rights principles were adopted and enshrined in the many constitutions in the world including that of Nigeria. He thus created awareness of the fundamental human rights of citizens as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended).
He identified the human rights guaranteed by the Constitution in its Chapter Four that the students need to know about as their rights, what to do when their rights are violated, where to seek redress and how not to violate the rights of others because one’s rights end where the other person’s rights begin. Mr. Fyneface said some fundamental human rights as contained in Chapter Four of the Nigeria Constitution to include Right to Life, Right to Dignity, Right to Personal Liberty, Right to Fair Hearing, Right to Privacy, Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion, Right to Freedom of expression, Right to Freedom of Assembly and Association, Right to Freedom of Movement, Right to Freedom from discrimination and Right to Own Property. More time was given to the teachings and explanations of human rights bordering on right to life, right to fair hearing, freedom of thoughts, conscience and religion, right to expression and right to freedom of assembly and association as they directly impacts the students. Mr. Fyneface asked the students during the presentation whether a dead person has right. Majority of the students said no and he explained that a dead person has right to be buried otherwise the corpse would decompose, smell and violate the rights of the living to a clean and safe environment.
Over 300 students and teachers participated and benefitted from the sensitization and became aware of their rights at the end of the lecture session. Thus, the students asked some questions after the lecture and got responses from both the directors of SWAYA and YEAC. Some of the questions asked by the students were weather they have right to travel outside Nigeria to Europe, Asia and London considering the fact that they learned from the lecture that they have freedom of movement. The response by YEAC director was in the affirmative but warned that such trips should not be illegal like the desperate journeys through the Mediterranean sea to Europe where a number of youths are dying daily and most of them especially the girls end up being rape and sold into slavery.