As the world marks today the World Day Against the use of the Death Penalty with the theme “Poverty and the death penalty” LEDAP reaffirms its position that the abolition of death penalty in law and practice should be the firm desire of the Nigerian government as death penalty is cruel and inhumane treatment, which has no place in modern society. LEDAP contends that the application of death penalty is discriminatory in Nigeria as it has become a punishment exclusive to the poor in society.
LEDAP is continually in legal battles with the federal and state governments in its quest to ensure that fundamental rights of citizens are safe-guarded and death penalty is abolished. Currently LEDAP has legal actions in court where it challenges the imposition of mandatory death sentences and the proposal of the federal and state governments to execute death row inmates. LEDAP urges state Governors not to sign any death warrants as it constitutes state murder. With high number of criminal convictions overturned on appeal, continued execution is risky as innocent people may be wrongfully killed.
LEDAP strongly believes that in its practical application death penalty is discriminatory as there is hardly any rich or influential person in society who is sentenced to death. LEDAP contends that the reason for the discriminatory outlook is due to the fact that the rich have the resources to settle the police or afford the best lawyers who ensure they are not convicted. LEDAP therefore takes the commemoration of the World Day Against Death Penalty, to re-live the experiences of the inmates saved from the gallows, inviting freed former death-row inmates to tell their stories in a media parley. It is LEDAP’s conclusion that poverty is a common factor to all prisoners on death row in Nigeria.
LEDAP beckons on the Government to ensure that it gives life rather than exercise eagerness in taking it away while it condemns the recommendation that prisoners on death row be executed as a means of decongesting the prisons. LEDAP believes that the government has a duty to protect and respect the sanctity of human life rather than supervising its termination and recommends a moratorium law be passed against executions in Nigeria.
“Some people say that it is shameful for girls to go to work or go to school. These are old traditions and conventions.” These are the words of Alan and Israa, two Syrian girls who, through a UN Women-supported training and community centre in Beirut, Lebanon, are learning how to repair mobile phones. This training is helping to break down traditional ideas about what girls can and cannot do, and through giving them relevant skills for their future, it is building resilience and helping to break conventional isolation.
This year, on the International Day of the Girl Child, we are focused on how to ‘EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises’. Throughout 2017 we have seen growing conflict, instability and inequality, with 128.6 million people this year expected to need humanitarian assistance due to security threats, climate change and poverty. More than three-quarters of those who have become refugees or who are displaced from their homes, are women and children . Among these, women and girls are among the most vulnerable in times of crisis.
Displaced and vulnerable women and girls face higher risks of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as damage to their livelihoods ; girls are 2.5 times more likely than boys to miss school during disasters ; and displaced girls are often married off as children in an effort to ensure their security. A 2013 assessment estimated a rise in the percentage of Syrian girl refugees in Jordan being married before age 18 from below 17 per cent before the conflict, to more than 50 per cent afterwards.
At UN Women, we are working to ensure that girls experiencing crises have positive options that allow them to grow and develop social and economic skills. Along with local women’s organizations, we support women and girl refugees through our Global Flagship Initiative, on Women’s Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection in Crisis Response (LEAP) , which boosts civic engagement and leadership by advocating for women’s political and social participation at the local, national and international levels. LEAP also establishes Empowerment Hubs where women can network and access critical services and training, and provides job placements, cash-for-work initiatives and training for businesses.
Programmes like these can turn situations of displacement into opportunities for empowerment for girls and young women, remove them from potentially violent situations, and serve as a path to economic security so that they are not forced to marry older men to provide for their physical and financial wellbeing.
As Alan and Israa experienced, UN Women is also tapping into the possibilities of mobile technology, developing a Virtual Skills School, so that women and girls who have dropped out of school due to early marriage, childbearing or traditional practices, who are living with a disability, or who are displaced from their homes and in refugee camps, have access to second-chance learning.
On the International Day of the Girl Child, let us commit to investing in skills training and education for girls and livelihood activities for young women around the world who are facing crises. Far from being passive recipients of assistance, these girls are leaders who will use the skills that they develop today to rebuild their communities, and create a better future for all of us.
culled from http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2017/10/statement-un-women-day-of-the-girl-child
Press Release:-Tuesday 10th October 2017 is observed as the World Day Against the Death Penalty. First observed in 2003 by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP), this year marks the 15th observance with focus on the theme “Poverty and Justice a deadly mix.”
The purpose of this theme is to raise awareness about the reasons why people living in poverty are at a greater risk of being sentenced to death and executed. The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty is an alliance of N.G.O’s, Bar Associations, local authorities and Unions.
The overall objective of the WCA against the Death Penalty is to strengthen the international dimension of the fight against the Death Penalty with the goal to achieve universal abolition of the death penalty.
The Caribbean is also part of the international campaign, through the work of the Greater Caribbean For Life (GCL) which is a Non-Profit, Civil Society Organisation established in Trinidad on October 2nd 2013 to unite the Caribbean abolitionist organizations and individuals.
GCL believes in stopping crime not lives and strives to create a culture of respect for the right to live and for the dignity of all human beings.
The Greater Caribbean consists of 25 countries/states including 13 Caricom countries which retain the Death Penalty.
As a member of the Greater Caribbean For Life I take this opportunity to raise awareness of the international campaign to abolish the Death Penalty. Although there has been no execution in St. Lucia since 1994, St. Lucia remains a retentionist country. Against the strong statements made 2 weeks ago by the Minister of Justice, to visit the gallows, it is necessary to state categorically that despite the rise in youth violent crime and murder, this is a backward stance, as hanging is no deterrent to crime.
In keeping with this year’s theme “Poverty and Justice a deadly mix” I call on the Government to stop crime and not lives. Rather to focus on the issue of poverty and its related ills. Prevention is the key. By focusing on the social and economic origin of crime, such as the poverty which engenders violence and disregard for Law and Order. In this regard St. Lucia must adopt the recommendations contained in the U.N.D.P 2012 Report “Human Development and the shift to better citizen security.”
The U.N.D.P urges Governments in the region to strive to achieve “a better balance between legitimate law enforcement and preventive measures, with a stronger focus on prevention and to invest more, for example in youth development, job creation and reducing poverty and socio-economic inequality, inequity. These strategies can contribute to a safer and more democratic just society in the region.
This is the strategy for St. Lucia in preventing crime/murder instead of applying the Death Penalty. At the domestic level we must try to eradicate the drug culture, which breeds the gun culture, side by side introduce family support measures and rehabilitate delinquent youth. The criminal justice system must be strengthened, by removing the delays, ensuring prosecutions and improving forensic investigation.
Above all St. Lucia must live up to its international responsibility by adhering to the 2014 recommendations of United Nations Human Rights Commission, which at the Universal Periodic Review Meeting for St. Lucia in 2015 urged St. Lucia to take steps to abolish the Death Penalty by signing and ratifying the 2nd Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which abolishes the Death Penalty. St. Lucia should also consider stop voting against the U.N Resolutions regarding the call for a moratorium on the death penalty, which the Caribbean States as retentionist always vote against.
As World Day against the Death Penalty is observed, the victims of violent crime must not be forgotten, however, injustice cannot be fought with injustice and our Court of Appeal has already declared the mandatory death penalty (hanging) to be inhuman and degrading treatment and therefore unconstitutional. For after all the RIGHT TO LIFE is the most fundamental human right and must be upheld by the citizens but more importantly upheld by the State. It is wrong for the State to carry out capital punishment in the name of justice. This is simply state killing, which most times involve the poorer marginalized in St. Lucia.
There must be a better way, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. As Christians and citizens let us educate ourselves, let us become part of the International Campaign to abolish the Death Penalty and save lives
Without the right to life, there simply would be no human rights, because human rights are indivisible, are interrelated and interdependent. The abolition of the death penalty is in keeping with evolving standards of decency/practised by modern democratic societies which have implemented alternative punishment for murder so as to keep society safe. St. Lucia can do the same.
Mary M. Francis
National Centre For Legal Aid and Human Rights Inc.
Greater Caribbean For Life (G.C.L)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an end to the death penalty Tuesday, insisting it has “no place in the 21st century.”
He urged member states that still execute convicts to join the 170 countries that have halted or abolished the practice, warning that the risk of a miscarriage of justice is an “unacceptably high price” to pay.
“I want to make a plea to all states that continue this barbaric practice: please stop the executions,” Guterres said at an event marking the 15th World Day Against the Death Penalty.
Capital punishment “does little to serve victims or deter crime,” Guterres said, adding that most of the UN’s 193 members do not carry out executions.
“Just last month, two African states – The Gambia and Madagascar – took major steps towards irreversible abolition of the death penalty,” he said.
“In 2016, executions worldwide were down 37 per cent from 2015. Today just four countries are responsible for 87 per cent of all recorded executions,” he added.
Those four countries are China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, a UN official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Guterres also called for transparency from states where the death penalty is legal, asking them to let lawyers do their job.
“Some governments conceal executions and enforce an elaborate system of secrecy to hide who is on death row, and why,” Guterres said.
“Others classify information on the death penalty as a state secret, making its release an act of treason.”
This lack of transparency “shows a lack of respect for the human rights of those sentenced to death and to their families.”
culled from http://punchng.com/death-penalty-has-no-place-in-21st-century-says-guterres/
WorldStage Newsonline– Nigeria’s Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has recovered about N16 billion pension funds and assets trapped in various Insurance companies and wants to use it to address some of the challenges of pensioners in the country.
Barrister Sharon Ikeazor, Executive Secretary of PTAD who disclosed this at a Pension stakeholders Forum in Abuja said N13 billions of the money was recovered in assets from NICON insurance, adding that the recoveries were currently being evaluated by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
She disclosed that the agency planned to recover additional assets and funds currently being held by other insurance under writers and monies recovered from them will be used to address pensioners complains.
Barrister Ikeazor said at the moment, the biggest challenge facing the agency was the payment of the arrears of 33 percent pension increase, adding that while paramilitary agencies had been fully paid the arrears, the Police, parastatal and Civil Service pensioners were still being owed arrears between 18 and 30 months.
She informed Pensioners that the agency had a zero tolerance for corruption and has set up a fully operational Anti Corruption Transparency Unit to deal with cases of corruption, stressing that the staff of the agency were fully aware of this.
She said however that despite efforts being made by the agency in tackling pension fraud, Pensioners still experience random scammers who call them claiming to be staff of PTAD and asking for money to process their complaints.
She disclosed that the agency had been successful in arresting a few of such scammers who have been reported to the ICPC and the police for necessary action, warning the pensioners not to relate with such people as the agency will never ask for money to do its job.
The agency also solicited increased collaboration with the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) in properly communicating the laudable change process of the Federal Government as it involves the Directorate in meeting the welfare of its pensioners.
Receiving the leadership of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) led by its President, Ifeyinwa Omowole, the Executive Secretary asked Journalists to brace up for the coverage of the verification of eligible Civil Service Pensioners in Oyo and Ogun States before the end of the month, adding that verified pensioners will be pay-rolled into the Directorate’s transparent automated database to enhance its monthly pension payments.
She said since there was the need to tell the truth when government does what is good for the people, NAWOJ members should be able to situate their story through investigative journalism, adding that, PTAD has many human angle stories for public consumption.
She advised the Executive Committee to enhance capacity building for members of the association so that they can function better in their physiological strength of being matters who nurture society.
Earlier, the National President of NAWOJ, Ifeyinwa Omowole said their visit was to give credence to and express solidarity with the successes recorded by Sharon Ikeazor in re-organizing the agency and re-tooling the employees for better service delivery.
The visitor described the host as one who had brought back life to many Nigerians, especially female Pensioners who now enjoy their monthly entitlements.
She explained that as voice of the voiceless, the association plans to start a campaign to educate males on legally designating their wives as Next-Of-Kin to enhance the process of child up-bringing and welfare. The association also plans to celebrate women in a wider context in a publication on Nigerian women Leaders where PTAD’s Executive Secretary will feature.
culled from http://worldstagegroup.com/index.php?active=news&newscid=38791&catid=29
Motivational quotes from the WRAPA team as we commemorate with the rest of the world and show our undying support in all spheres of life for the Girl-Child on this great ‘Day of the Girl-Child’.