The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has awarded CLEEN Foundation—formerly known as the Centre for Law Enforcement Education in Nigeria,the 2019 Human Rights Award for immense contributions in strengthening law enforcement agencies for the protection of human rights in Nigeria.
Receiving the award on Sunday 8th December 2019 at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja, the Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, Dr Benson Olugbuo dedicated the award to all victims and survivors of human rights abuses in Nigeria from 1960 to 2019.
The CLEEN Foundation is a non-governmental organization established in January 1998 with the mission to promote public safety, security and accessible justice through empirical research, legislative advocacy, demonstration programmes and publications, in partnership with government, civil society and the private sector.
It emerged in response to military dictatorship characterized by human rights violations and impunity by security officials and the need for improved service delivery to citizens, and has grown to become a leading non-governmental organization in the area of public safety, security and accessible justice in Nigeria within the sub-region and the global spaces and is a member of key security networks across the continent.
Over 21 years of her existence, the Foundation has contributed in improving the understanding and respect for human rights, eliminating social injustice, discriminatory attitudes and practices and enhanced access to justice.
In this regard, the Foundation supported the establishment of the Gender Desk and Complaints Response Unit (CRU) of the Nigeria Police Force, and has partnered with the National Human Rights Commission and Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN) Foundation to organize Public Hearings on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The Foundation also pioneered the monitoring of the conduct of security agencies on election duty under her election security management project thereby strengthening the work of the Police Service Commission.
It has also contributed in enhancing the human rights compliance of law enforcement officials through the organization of various human rights trainings.
According to the Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Benson Olugbuo, PhD, “CLEEN Foundation has contributed in promoting, protecting, defending, monitoring and reporting human rights violations by security officials in Nigeria. To this end, the Foundation has pioneered a human rights project aimed at fostering civil-military relations in Nigeria.
“This initiative is working in collaboration with the Nigerian Army Human Rights Desk and the Nigeria Army Call Centre (193) to improve Army’s compliance to human rights in Nigeria. As part of its efforts in improving security sector accountability and human rights compliance in countering violent extremism in Nigeria, CLEEN Foundation has been working with various state and non-state actors to enhance interagency coordination, collaboration and cooperation between the state and non-state actors in the North-East”.
CLEEN is also documenting rights violations by security actors in different parts of the country.