Category Archives: Human Rights
By Sunday Adaji Esq
One common denominator among human rights defenders is the passion to fight, protect, and defend the fundamental rights of citizens. This passion has led some lawyers to sacrifice their time, money, resources and even life and limb, in defense of citizens’ inalienable rights.
The history of the human rights struggle is as old as the history of mankind. In the Bible, we read how Cain murdered Abel his brother in cold blood. There was no justification for the murder of Abel by Cain. From the time of Abel till now, human rights abuse has continued to rise at a geometric rate while the rate of protection and defence against human rights abuse, on the other hand, only rises arithmetically. Just when you have successfully prosecuted a case of human rights abuse and want to jubilate, you hear yet more cases of others whose rights have been infringed.
Nigeria, has witnessed all forms of human rights abuse by the state actors whether during the military era or in the democratic dispensation and by non-state actors. Thousands of citizens have been killed by Boko Haram terrorists and millions of others were rendered homeless due to Boko Haram’s invasion In every nook and cranny of the country, human rights abuse exist. Issues of child abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking, rape, lynching, homicides, baby factories aimed at making babies primarily for commercial purposes, deprivation, false imprisonment, etc still abound and actually appear to be on the increase.
As long as rights exist, so shall abuses, making the need to monitor paramount. So long human rights defenders make efforts at combating human rights abuse and reducing it to the barest minimum, dignity of more persons can be protected. abusers.
We will not forget in a hurry heroes in Nigeria the military era for example. Be they organizations like NADECO, CLO or persons like the Fawehinmis, the Ransome – Kutis, the Agbakobas, or the Nigerian Press, and many others too numerous to mention, who wrestled with military dictatorships and eventually saw them out of power. The feat achieved by these human-rights-minded Nigerians convinces me beyond an iota of doubt that we can reduce human rights abuse to the barest minimum, if only we are willing to contribute our quota towards protecting and defending citizens from having their human rights abused.
Everyday people’s rights are violated with impunity. Some, we witness ourselves, others are reported to us. And many others are reported on the internet and in the print and electronic media, yet we do nothing about them. We cannot continue to fold our arms and watch perpetrators violate people’s rights. We have to show and feel concerned with what happens to others. We might be the next victim! You never can tell!
There is always something you can do when you see other people’s rights being abused. Don’t shrug your shoulders, walk away and say, “It is none of my business.” It is your business. If it doesn’t concern you today, it may concern you tomorrow. Be your brother’s keeper. Do something. You can report to the police, you can report to the press. We have many radio stations, television stations and print media around us. We also have many human rights organizations around us, they are within your reach.
We don’t have to keep mute in the face human rights abuse. The reason human rights abuse is rampant is because we are not doing anything about it. If we are ready to do something about it, we will reduce human rights abuse to the barest minimum.
And for us human rights lawyers, TENACITY is our watchword! We are not relenting, we are not quitting! We will not fold our arms! More often than not, we will spend our money, time and resources pursuing this just cause, but these are the sacrifices we must make to ensure that people enjoy their inalienable rights.
Sunday Adaji is a human rights lawyer and legal officer with Lawyers Alert. He can be reached on 07061016859
Lawyers Alert Brings Human Rights Lawyers together on provision of legal literacy and access to justice to vulnerable groups in Nigeria.
By Roseline Oghnebrume
Lawyers Alert in partnership with UNAIDS Nigeria, brought together human rights lawyers under the auspices of Coalition of Lawyers For Human Rights, COLaHR, on the 28th and 29th day of October 2015 at Kanem Suites, Utako Abuja to interact with People Living with HIV (PLWHIV), People Who Inject Drugs (PWIDs), Female Sex Workers (FSWs), Sexual Minorities towards provision of free legal assistance and legal literacy.
The Coalition of Lawyers for Human Rights (CoLaHR) which consists of Volunteer Lawyers across 23 states in Nigeria has as its mandate the provision of free Legal Assistance and Interventions for Key Populations and Vulnerable Groups in Nigeria.
This event was aimed at bringing Members of CoLaHR and Members of Key Populations and Vulnerable Groups to get to know one another to ensure justice for all and to create awareness of relevant law as members of CoLaHR have been finding it very challenging connecting with Vulnerable Groups since the Coalition was formed. It was also a forum to increase the visibility of CoLaHR and to build confidence and trust between the Vulnerable Groups and Lawyers.
At the event there was an official launch of the CoLaHR website (http://www.colahr.org), CoLaHR help line (08026826761) and email (colahr.nigeria@gmail) making it easy for the Key populations and vulnerable groups to reach the CoLaHR members promptly when the need arises. Ramaroson Mianko representing UNAIDS Country Director, Dr Bilali Camara, emphasized the importance of the website stating that it was created to facilitate the protection of Human Rights and also to serve a resource base. Informative, Educative and Communication materials (pamphlets and posters) explaining rights and where to go when one’s fundamental Human Rights are abused were developed and distributed to Key and Affected Populations during the meeting to take home and also distribute to the grass roots and the larger community towards possible validation and mass circulation afterwards.
Mr. Kunle Adeniyi, representing of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) expressed his delight with the passion being exhibited by the participants but also cautioned that the forum cannot fully settle the issues of the law as it relates to Human Rights as the Law is constantly existing. He congratulated UNAIDS, Lawyers Alert and CoLaHR for a job well done and for the official launch of the website.
The Executive Director of INCRESE, Dorothy Akenova expressed her joy at the launch of CoLaHR website and stated that she had never been more happy working with Lawyers Alert and UNAIDS. Most participants expressed the feeling that hitherto were not comfortable in the same room with Lawyers as they always had the mindset that no one understands them and the society at large always discriminates against them. They thanked Lawyers Alert and UNAIDS for organizing the meeting especially with members of CoLaHR volunteering to provide Legal Assistance to them.
Barrister Rommy Mom, President of Lawyers Alert commended and appreciated his learned colleagues who have offered to give themselves and their time to the Vulnerable Groups to protect and offer pro-bono legal services when their rights have been infringed.
At the end of the 2 day event, an effective networking and trust building between the Lawyers and the Vulnerable Groups was enhanced and agreed modality between the Vulnerable Groups and members of CoLaHR on reaching out when in need. The participants also learnt about the common violations faced, knowledge of their rights and knowledge of the legal needs of key populations and vulnerable groups.
The members of the Coalition agreed on the following: There should be a permanent staff for CoLaHR, Legal fund for CoLaHR be established and administered by Lawyers Alert, Members of CoLaHR should be trained on Human Right practice, More Lawyers should be trained to increase the number of Lawyers under CoLaHR, There should be a meeting with critical stakeholders and bodies, The need for specialization by CoLaHR members where necessary and the need to have periodic meetings.
BY ROMMY MOM
Beginnings of Boko Haram
It is widely believed that the movement started out as a pious and strict way of Islam intended to guarantee paradise after death in the midst of worldly and earthy distractions. Not many people are aware that this ideology became so popular in Nigeria’s North East that even some government officials joined in the movement and supported it in order to be seen as holy and pious people.
With time, the movement became powerful enough to start enforcing its way of life on many, demanding zero tolerance to anything western. Some government officials resigned to comply with this directive while others saw the price as too heavy to pay just to belong. Originally known as “Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad,” which in Arabic means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad” this coinage was soon shortened by locals to the simpler, “Boko Haram” which, loosely translated, means, “Western education is forbidden.” Those who refused to team up with the extremists were viewed as uncommitted Muslims.
Extra judicial punishment in the form of brutal killings was soon meted out on those who resisted these teachings, especially persons of other faiths. Early violence was targeted at non-believers with Churches targeted particularly on holy days such as Easter and Christmas when attendance was heavy. Perhaps the initial plan was to plunge Nigeria into a religious war. The reluctance or inability of Christians to pay back in kind thwarted this move thereby frustrating the movement in that regard.
The now notorious cult, which began its insidious existence during the Obasanjo administration (2002), was rendered a crushing defeat by the state under YarAdua when it appeared to be challenging the power of the state. However, instead of a well strategized and carefully executed investigation which would perhaps have unearthed the roots of the cult, defeat was meted out on extreme grounds of extra judicial killings, with the arrest and execution of the group’s founding leader, Mohammed Yusuf, who was killed in police custody in 2009.
This act caused the group to run off into the forest (Sambisa) and quietly continue living their “pious” lives while burning with anger and resentment with a view to vengeance. They soon regrouped under a new and more vile leadership, that of the so called Abubakar Shekau.
Growth and Notoriety
Having regrouped, the cult, now bent on establishing an Islamic state, quietly developed networks with other extremist Islamic groups, first across Africa and eventually, beyond. How Nigeria’s intelligence missed this is the wonder. Indeed, the efficiency with which the group was able to muster heavy military weapons and machinery speaks volumes about how incredibly weak Nigeria’s government systems were calling to question how the weapons were brought into the country and safely delivered to the terrorists without raising suspicion. These weapons included armored personnel carriers, surface to air missiles and other weapons even Nigeria’s military lacked.
On the anniversary of their leader’s assassination, the group announced its desire to commemorate his death. Not knowing the extent of the group’s preparedness and the seriousness of their threats, the Borno state government (the state that has since gained notoriety as the “home” of BH) assured citizens that there was nothing to worry about and urged them to go about their normal businesses. Underestimating BH turned out to be a big mistake.
On the day of the “commemoration,” gun wielding members of BH stormed the city of Maiduguri, mowing down any Christian policemen in sight, leading to police officers taking off their uniforms and begging for their lives. It was to be the first of many well primed attacks.
The state’s meek reaction did nothing to help and the sect waxed stronger over time, killing at will, bombing prime state targets across the country, including the Police headquarters and the UN office both in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory. Still the state, this time under Goodluck Jonathan, failed to fully comprehend how powerful the rag tag group had grown to be.
BH eventually went as far as conquering and seizing territories, declared its independence from Nigeria and killed citizens at will, at this point, not minding religious inclination. Schools were targeted and children killed for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. The Buni Yadi massacre in Yobe state was carried out at night in an all-boys school. Shortly afterwards, an estimated 300 girls were abducted from their school, also at night. A few of them managed to escape when one of the vehicles they were being carted off in broke down.
This incident finally turned international attention to Nigeria, when the army first of all lied that the abducted girls had been rescued, then when the abduction was followed by inaction by the state. To this day, one and a half years later, there are still groups demanding for the return of the girls, now known as the Chibok girls. An estimated 200 may have been sold into slavery or forcefully married off to total strangers as Shekau at the time threatened.
Their actual fate remains unknown.
Reaction of the state
After the brutal subjugation of the movement by the Yar Adua administration, subsequent dealings by the state lacked any form of decisiveness. State reaction portrayed total lack of political will to deal definitively with the terrorists, leading to a state of general insecurity, not just in the region but across the country, thereby giving the group a larger-than-life reputation.
While the terrorist group wreaked havoc in Nigeria’s North East and the neighboring West African countries of Chad, Niger, and Mali, unscrupulous elements within the government and the military saw the insurgency as a means of making money and corruptly enriching themselves. Monies intended for equipping the military were diverted to personal use, while a poorly armed, poorly motivated military was sent out to tackle a better armed, better, motivated and better organized opponent. The battles ended with Nigeria’s military massacred in huge numbers and the people of the region killed in a pogrom of a sort never before witnessed in the land.
Over 15,000 lives have been lost, while a mutiny within the army, owing to lack of weapons and machinery was decisively dealt with by imprisonment even as corruption continued to thrive and the country bled. It has since been speculated that a 5th column was identified within the army and that some of the sponsors were known to those in power and yet to BH remained a menace.
In the run up to the 2015 elections, the ability of the APC Candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to definitively articulate issues such as Corruption and Security, and the way these messages resonated with the electorate forced the sitting government to finally see BH as an electoral albatross that could lead to its defeat. Elections were quickly postponed to deal with BH, but lacking any concise operational plan, weapons were hastily put together and indiscriminate air strikes commenced in territories held by BH. While the group was indeed pushed back, the collateral damage was equally huge especially in the civilian population.
This last ditch attempt at stopping BH, while the most impressive, did nothing to help the Goodluck administration as the people’s minds were already made up. Elections eventually threw out the government and installed Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, whose credentials as a long serving military man were seen as the right qualification for a Nigerian leader hoping to rout BH.
The present administration is now engaging BH in a more constructive and intelligent manner, strengthening alliances with neighboring countries, gathering intelligence and launching offensive strikes, while curbing corruption within the system and motivating soldiers.
The results are commendable as Nigeria is now on the offensive as opposed to BH being on the offensive, which was the situation in the past, and practically all Nigerian territories have been reclaimed. This has led to a new approach by the terrorists, bombing of soft targets within the communities, markets, viewing centers, IDP camps etc.
Intelligence can help neutralize these attacks and this is where the role of the citizen is key. The new wave of terrorism in Nigeria can NEVER be won except the citizen steps up and engages.
Intelligence is not obtained from thin air but by citizens being observant and reporting suspicious movements and or circumstances in their surroundings. In the past, those who did report such things found themselves under attack, the information having been somehow leaked to the terrorists. Perhaps this was led to the situation we now face where some of these communities have taken to shielding the terrorists and some even contributing their children to the “cause.” There are also those who genuinely believe the extremists are trying to promote an Islamic agenda and as such have developed genuine sympathies for them leading to them cooperating with the group and shielding them from the prying eyes of the authorities.
Interestingly enough, as operations against the group have continued, it has become obvious that though members of the group claim to be Muslims trying to establish an Islamic state, a good number of them know nothing about the religion itself other than what they have been brain washed by the master minds into believing. It is said that a good number of them neither pray nor can recite vital parts of the Quran. One then begins to wonder what the real motivation or trigger behind the movement is.
Attempts by the Jonathan administration at various points in time to establish contact with the group and determine their demands produced woeful results. Unlike other terrorist groups in Nigeria which made concrete demands on government, BH’s demands were unrealistic and speak of a lack of focus. The group is believed to have demanded that Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, convert to Islam, a request which of course went unattended to.
There is a real need for some of Behavior Change Communication strategy to be embarked upon to enlighten Muslims of the real intentions of the group which has little to do with promoting Islam and everything to do with spreading hate and fear. There is a need to send out educational passionate educational messages, suing passages from the Quran to counter the poisonous messages being spread by the terrorists.
These could be in the form of radio/TV messages, billboards, online broadcasts and so on. After all, the fight is against an ideology. There is therefore a serious need to work on the minds of those who are vulnerable to get them to understand that the ideology of the terrorists is warped at best. This is one of the ways in which the state can help the citizens to decide on doing what is right.
Regarding the fear of being outed after passing intelligence to security agents, the current government seems genuinely concerned about curbing the excesses of BH as can be seen by the fact that the service chiefs are now stationed right at the battle front and have been seen at the frontlines with their men. This is a clear sign that the status quo has changed and people can now trust the security agents.
“Small” things like strange faces, tenants who would rather keep to themselves, vehicles haphazardly laden with gas cylinders and driven in populated areas, etc. as normal as they appear, could be clues. A tip off to security agencies may lead to saving of scores of lives.
People acting suspiciously in crowded environments such as markets, schools, malls, Churches should be carefully observed and if possible questioned. Unattended bags should not be poked or touched. Very rickety cars driven to a crowded spot and abandoned are also suspect.
The need to create awareness amongst community leaders on how to spot suspected terrorists can’t be over emphasized. It is very important for the purposes of stepping the messages down to members of the community in languages they will understand and be made to understand how this strategy could save us all.
If we can successfully push for and achieve the measures outlined above, then we can truly begin to say with confidence that the days of BH in Nigeria are numbered.
President Muhammad Buhari has stated during his recent visit to the US that his government would not consider decriminalizing gay marriage in Nigeria. Well, that did not come to me as a surprise because President Buhari is a hardline conservative muslim whom I think would be unwilling to support any legislative or policy change that is not compatible with sharia law.
Yes it would have been a real surprise if he had urged a policy shift towards a more dignified and respectful treatment of gay persons. That notwithstanding, the campaign for the recognition of the rights of gay people in Nigeria goes on because this campaign is not about what President Buhari wants. It is not about his interpretation of what is in accordance with ‘our culture’ or ‘our religion’ but about the rights of Nigerian citizens which are beyond the power of any president or state to deny. Yes it is beyond the politics of President Buhari to deny the human rights of Nigerian citizens on the basis of sexual orientation.
Buhari’s opposition to gay rights is more disappointing because this is a man who campaigned on the platform of ‘change’ and who distances himself from the policies and programs of his predecessor. Now it is clear that when it comes to homophobia and the persecution of gays in Nigeria, Buhari stands with former President Goodluck Jonathan, who signed the anti-gay marriage bill into law.
This means Nigerians who support the human rights of gays and lesbians and who are yearning for change and progress in the treatment of gays may have to wait for another presidential champion of change to provide leadership in this critical area. Yes, given his antecedents, nobody has expected Buhari to make a ‘radical shift’ on this human rights matter. But at least he could put in place a process that would eventually lead to a dignified treatment of gay persons in Nigeria. It is still not too late. This is how many countries have approached and are approaching the matter. Why should our approach in Nigeria be different? Why should the approach by the Nigerian government be inclined towards hated and intolerance of gays? What crimes have homosexuals committed?
Unfortunately, the Buhari presidency has decided to rehash the same meaningless argument which past governments have used to justify the legitimization of gay hatred and discrimination. They claim that gay marriage is against “our culture”. Now let’s think about this. When they say “our culture” which culture are they really referring to? Does Nigeria have ‘a culture’? Nigeria has many cultures. Moreover which culture in Nigeria endorses the killing and persecution of people with homosexual tendencies?.
Now let us assume that gay marriage is not part of our culture (whatever that means). If not being part of ‘our culture’ is the ground for justifying the persecution of gay people and for the criminalizing gay marriage? Is Islam part of ‘our culture’? Is ‘sharia law’ part of our culture? Is going on pilgrimage to Mecca part of our culture? Is Christianity part of our culture? Is the Bible part of our culture?
Many of the practices which we identify as part of our culture today were not there decades and centuries ago because cultures change.
And if other cultures are coming to terms with such changes by recognizing the rights of gay and lesbian persons, why shouldn’t Nigeria do the same? If Nigeria cannot lead the way by legalizing gay marriage, why can’t Africa’s most populous nation emulate best human rights practices and treat gays with dignity? This is not too much a demand to make from a president who campaigned and won election on the platform of change.
Leo Igwe, as a member of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, has bravely worked for human rights in West Africa. He is presently enrolled in a three year research programme on “Witchcraft accusations in Africa” at the University of Bayreuth, in Germany
By Osilama Okuofu
Sixteen unbroken years into our present democratic experience and Nigerians are none better than what transpired under the military regimes where the likes of WalterOfonagoro, the late Senator Uche Chukwumerije and Wada Nas held sway as information managers dishing out half-truths and bare-faced blatant lies to a nonplussed populace who watched, mouth agape, at the turning of truth on its head.
The reality on ground
Question a government policy, action or plan today and you will have a horde of ill-tempered officials swarming around you with insults rather than dealing with the issues raised.
One begins to wonder if, by the actions of these information managers, Nigerians have a right to question those they elected.
Nothing brings this to fore presently than the recent request by the Edo State government for the release of USD75 million being the second tranche of a World Bank facility which the President sent to the Nigerian senate for consideration.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state led by its chairman, Dan OsiOrbih, kicked against the request demanding to know what the government of AdamsOshiomole did with the first tranche to justify this request.
The argument put forward in opposing the loan draw-down is that the state is presently overburdened with a huge and seemingly unserviceable debt overhang, given its dwindling resources as well as a scattering of so many abandoned projects littering the state with special reference to the flagship project of the government: the Benin Water Storm Project.
Rather than deal with the issues raised, the state’s commissioner for information, Louis Odion, came out swinging with a blistering write up using unprintable and indecent expletives you would not expect from a public official and especially one who, having been a managing editor of a Nigerian newspaper house, should showcase the fine ethics of journalism.
The question that tugs my mind is, if we cannot get responses to our enquiries as citizens, how then do we buy into government activities and be patriotic in defending our elected leaders?
I believe that the right to ask questions and receive correct answers in return are inalienable in the social contract between the government and the governed, else accountability would be thrown to the dogs.
I t is also my conviction that no society will emerge politically, economically and socially if a people are starved of the right information as information breeds knowledge and that in return, power!
We look today towards America as the shining light of democratic ethos but this would not be if Americans were treated with disdain in the area of information dissemination.
The truth about bad governance
Imagine what that society would be going through today if the culture of telephone tapping, sleaze and other forms of corrupt cover-ups that took place during the Richard Nixon presidency had two ordinary journalists, eventually supported by ‘Big Throat’, not been given the free hand to investigate that government opened up bad governance that led to a senate hearing and eventual resignation of President Nixon from office.
The culture of impunity would have been entrenched, and progressively, leaders would stop being accountable to those who voted them in and the greatness of that society would have been undermined.
I would therefore implore those saddled with managing our public information services to be decent and forthright in dealing with enquiries by the public as we are all stakeholders in this entity called Nigeria and differences in political affiliations should not divide us to the point of being obnoxious and disagreeable as is presently playing out in Edo State. You do not win debates that way and certainly not friends.
Now while the debate rages on in the blogosphere, pages of newspapers as the Nigerian senate prepares to look into the request sent by President Buhari, I, even at the risk of being maligned by those who think they have more right than I do in the running of the affairs of my state, would like to know what the government of Edo State did with the first tranche released by the World Bank; as this would give me an indication of how the second tranche requested would be spent, should the approval be given.
How Nigerian leaders mismanage money
The argument by some that the World Bank has expressed satisfaction with the utilisationof the $75 million does not wash with me. Whether we utilise it well or not, the money is covered by sovereign collateral and will surely be paid back. After all, this country has been saddled with previous such loans that were badly managed but still had to be repaid, and in this wise, one may question the real intent of that international agency in the developmental strides of our country.
Nigerians’ right to know cannot be questioned and reduced to a ‘need to know’ basis. The Freedom of Information bill has taken care of that and government officials should stop acting like they are doing us a favour, behave with unbridled arrogance but only become contrite and humble when going around asking for our votes.
By Wendy Wright
NEW YORK, July 10 (C-Fam) Nigeria publicly chastised the UN human rights office for trampling on universally-agreed rights as it seeks to impose same sex marriage and outlaw commonly-held views on homosexuality. The sharp rebuke accused the UN officials of infringing on the right to democracy, religious freedom, and cultural standards that strengthen families.
The statement, delivered last week in Geneva, came in response to a report released last month by the UN human rights office. The report on discrimination and violence against individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity criticizes laws protecting children from LGBT propaganda and condemns therapy to help people with unwanted sexual attractions. Expressing negative views on homosexuality contributes to violence, the report claims.
The UN report, which governments are free to ignore but which will be used to pressure them, also tells countries to legalize same sex marriage or unions, and provide benefits.
The majority of countries define marriage as the union of a man and woman. Nigeria strengthened its law in 2014.
Nigeria rebuked the UN officials for disrespecting the democratic process and endangering universally-agreed human rights.
Religious freedom and cultural rights are “fundamental parts of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Nigeria stated. Countries have a “duty to ensure the family values, the religious values and the cultural values of its citizens are protected,” which are “the bedrock of the moral values of the individual.”
Nigeria’s marriage law “is intended to uphold and strengthen these values.”
Nigeria has the largest population in Africa and the majority of its 170 million citizens are Christian or Muslim.
The law “synchronizes” Nigeria’s culture, traditions, and two main religions, all of which reject “unreservedly, same sex marriage, homosexuality, lesbianism, gay and transgender attitudes.”
The Nigerians also said gay rights and orientation “will limit population” and “impose unintended consequences on the family as an institution.”
The UN human rights office ramped up its campaign to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) behavior in 2011, based on a Human Rights Council resolution expressing “grace concern” at violence and discrimination against persons based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The recent report concedes “data are patchy” on homicides. Persons identified as LGBT may be targeted by terrorist groups, and are victims of honor killings.
But the UN report strays from acts of violence to lump in expressing religious beliefs and counseling. It “condemns” reparative therapy to help with unwanted homosexual attractions, and describes statements on homosexuality by Catholic leaders as contributing to stigma and violence against adolescents and children.
Legalizing same sex marriage is not required, the report concedes, yet goes on to tell countries to recognize same sex unions. Countries should run public education campaignson sexual orientation and repeal policies that impact rights to health, education, work, housing and social security – providing an opening for attacks on faith-based organizations and individuals that decline to participate or assist in homosexual activities.
The UN human rights office is currently mired in scandal and rumors of corruption. Its officials are accused of mishandling an investigation of French soldiers sexually abusing African boys. Staffers are rumored to be cozy with officials from governments seeking to influence decisions inside the UN office.
Nordic countries funded the UN office’s campaign for LGBT rights, even as the UN human rights chief pled for funding to do its basic work.
Privately African and other delegates express immense frustration at what they see as an obsession with LGBT issues by UN personnel and some governments.