SOHI Executive Director Ms May Ikokwu made the call in an interview with the Nigerian News Agency on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, reserved annually to commemorate the elimination of the violence against women.
Ikokwu said that women and girls are being subjected to inhumane treatment: rape, restriction of movement, physical abuse and denial of access to food in the camps.
“Women make up more than 50 percent of the internally displaced population in Nigeria. According to the UN, they are forced to survive on less than £ 780 (US $ 1.90) a day.
“Their livelihood is highly dependent on goodwill donations from charitable and government organizations.
“Consequently, due to the overlap of vulnerabilities related to economic security and protection, many are at risk of sexual and gender-based violence in the camps,” he said.
Ikwoku condemned all acts of violence against women and girls and urged all states to domesticate the “Law for the Prohibition of Violence against Persons (VAPP)”, to checkmate the violence against them.
According to her, the VAPP Law prescribes 12 years in prison without the option of a fine for violators.
Ikokwu said that if domesticated, the law can reduce the rate of violence against women and girls, especially in IDP camps.
“Many women and girls, as a result of intimidation, harassment and lack of access to food, have been forced to have sex for food in many conflict areas and camps.
“This practice is not only inhumane, but also total violence against women and girls that must end with the collaboration of state and non-state actors.”
Ikokwu emphasized the need for women and girls to be treated with respect and dignity as mothers and future mothers for a better and safer society.
“Living in IDP camps is very bad for anyone. The government must step up efforts to end internal conflicts that cause people to leave the comfort of their homes to seek refuge in camps for internally displaced persons.
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