Abuja-Lack of Legal frameworks to support the Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria has been said to remain a critical challenge to the situation of the IDPs.
This was the crux of the third Media and Civil Society Meetings on Internal Displacement in Nigeria by the Civil Society Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in collaboration with UNHRC and the Swiss Embassy where it was proposed that physical infrastructure as well as adequate security be put in place before returns of IDPs can take place.
Disclosing these on Thursday, the Director Legal, CISLAC, Barrister Adesina Oke stressed that little or nothing can be done when there is no legal and policy framework backing the Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs), adding however that more attention should be placed on the issue of the vulnerable in Nigeria.
While nothing that the inclusion of CSO and media will give a broader view of the particular framework to adopt to ensure that the problem of IDPs is well taken care of, he called on the Media as well as CSOs to work together to facilitate a quick passage of the IDP Act.
Earlier,the Programme Officer Swiss Embassy, Ojoma Ali while appreciating CISLAC for tirelessly advocating for enforceable documents and legal frameworks in addressing the challenges of vulnerable persons, said that the meetings is a creative measure in cultivating the media and creating a conducive and favourable environment leading to improved and increased media coverage of IDP issues.
According to her; “The challenges being faced by Nigerian vulnerable citizens remains critical and disturbing and so it is of importance that the media expands on its current efforts in accelerating the procedure for the passage of the national policy of IDPs as well as the adoption of the domestication of the Kampala convention.
“Since 2014 till date, Switzerland has contributed 32.4million CHF to the Humanitarian response in the Lake Chad Region, ranking among the 10 biggest humanitarian donors and strengthening the capacity of the ICRC, some US agencies and NGOs in bringing assistance to vulnerable populations” she said.
Also, the Senior Programmes Officer CISLAC, Mr Okeke Anya speaking on the activities in place to have a legal and policy framework for handling IDP situation in Nigeria, said that the Kampala Convention Domestication has passed first and second reading, adding that a public hearing would soon take place to facilitate the third reading so as to pass the Act into law.
He called on government to fast track the passage, as not having a policy and legal framework is a risk, adding that government must do what it should do to get those documents in place for the benefits of the IDPs.
The need for an acceptable and validated National policy on IDPs, proactive policy backing as well as the need to treat the IDPs humanely was however noted by CSOs and media practitioners present.