I am highly elated to welcome you to the sensitization/Awareness Creation Program on Human Rights amongst youths and high school students in Rivers State. Amongst you here today are great lawyers, engineers, medical doctors, managers and leaders in the making that will make Nigeria and Africa proud in the nearest future. You are great.
You are very fortunate to get this awareness at your age and a time the Nigeria society is in an urgent need of human rights education especially the rights to social, economic, and cultural which are indispensable for the free development of human personality. This is declared in article 22 of the universal declaration of human rights.
The social right of everyone is very important. Today, the social rights of many young people are not respected and protected especially in the schools. Many are forced to become members of secret society which eventually leads to violation of other human rights like rights to life, freedom of speech, movement. When young people are eventually forced to become secret cult members, the act of barbaric primitism becomes the order of the day. Taken off of human heads become the culture of our generation. This is not acceptable in our school system. We must rise up against this in our society.
There are several others that time will not permit me to mention here. The issue of gender inequality in our society today in Nigeria is another burning one that must taken very seriously by all promising girls of this great country. Men have to encourage to a space in politics, we must do that. Men must create space for our women in maritime business and other professional areas of studies. I see in all of you the determination, enthusiasm and very strong spirit to reduce the gap between male and female gender imbalance. It is possible. Violence against children occurs in homes, families, schools, communities and other places where children should feel safe, hence the need to bring this program to your door step.
My dear young people, we are here today to empower you with basic knowledge about Human Rights that will enable you make an informed decision to stand up to fight for your rights and those in your neibourhood. It is a collective fight that age is not a barrier because from your birth, you have a right to life and conditions that make life livable. I therefore encourage you to get up and fight for your rights at home, school and in the market place through educating others. It is also worthy to note that each person’s right begins where another person’s right end so you don’t trample on other people’s right
I have no doubt in my mind that at the end of this program many of us will be greatly equipped to own up the human rights campaign in rivers state, Nigeria and the world at large. Thank you for your patient attention
(A female student reacting to the training while others wait to take their turn)
(Executive Director, Advocacy Centre, Fyneface Dumnamene sensitizing the students)
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.