In the upcoming month, CHOICE and Equality Triangle Initiative (ETI) will be actively involved with Nigeria’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a United Nations initiative in which all states are subjected to a peer-to-peer human rights review once every 4.5 years. Read more about the UPR and its functioning on the OHCHR website. ETI, a CHOICE partner under the Rights Evidence Action program, is a youth-led LGBT rights organization in Nigeria, focusing its UPR submission on the human rights violations against the LGBT community in their country. The Rights, Evidence, Action program is generously supported by AmplifyChange – A fund to break the silence on SRHR.
ETI and their local partners have documented over 200 human rights violations against the LGBT community in 2017 alone, including (attempted) murders, cases of torture, sexual violence, mob violence, and battery. Impunity for such violations prevail, and Nigeria continues to ignore the plights of this community – which suffers from political neglect and colonial laws criminalizing their sexual orientations and gender identities.
CHOICE and ETI call upon all states to include numerous and progressive recommendations to ensure the systemic human rights violations against the LGBT community are addressed. Despite ongoing challenges for Nigerian commitment, it is not a time to back down on our shared responsibility to protect the fundamental rights of human beings across the globe. The time is now to speak up and ensure the LGBT community’s suffering is recognized and addressed in the upcoming UPR.
"The time is now, and the world is watching."
CHOICE also call upon Nigeria to actively participate in its review. While Nigeria is commended for the steps it undertakes to improve the human rights situation in its country, there is more to be done. Nigeria ought to cease its strategic ignorance of all recommendations pertaining to violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity to ensure progress is made.
Over the last year, CHOICE has supported ETI to participate in the UPR, a complex UN process. CHOICE provided guidance through advocacy mentorship and technical assistance in the report drafting. After leading a successful UPR submission in partnership with 12 other Nigerian organizations, ETI has been invited to speak publically about their submission at the UPR-Info Pre-Sessions. This event will be attended by diplomatic delegations and members of civil society from across the globe.
CHOICE acknowledges, with gratitude, the Sexual Rights Initiative for its technical input on the shadow report and advocacy brief and would like to thank ILGA and COC for inviting ETI to participate in their UPR Advocacy Week in Geneva.