Launched in 1996, the Roundtable was the first forum designed for multinational businesses and mainstream human rights organizations to discuss issues of common concern in an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust, and confidentiality. Today, the Roundtable focuses exclusively on the extractive industry, although the lessons learned and case studies of the Roundtable provide value to all sectors. The Roundtable is an invaluable resource for corporations and NGOs to work together to promote sustainable development.
As we come together to celebrate International Women’s Day, we are reminded there are still many areas of the world where women and children face violence and insecurity. In Nigeria, sexual abuse and violence perpetrated against women and children remains prevalent in communities throughout the country. The Fund For Peace’s (FFP) Violence Affecting Women and Girls (VAWG) initiative, implemented in partnership with the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP), aims to break the culture of silence around gender-based violence. Through improving incident reporting and combining local knowledge with cutting edge technology to better understand patterns and trends in VAWG throughout Nigeria, the program aims to foster early response and preventative action. We work closely with civil society organizations on the ground in the North, North Central, Middle Belt, and Niger Delta regions of Nigeria to track the main threats to women and children in five key states. The following reports summarize these findings and propose practical steps that could be taken to help end the abuse and ensure the safety and security of women and children throughout the country.
Women and girls are often the targets — either directly or caught in the crossfire — of this inter-communal conflict. They also bear the brunt of economic pressures through displacement, livelihood and property destruction, or loss of household breadwinners as a result of the violence. In their daily lives women and girls also encounter frequent interpersonal abuse and sexual violence, which is prevalent in family, community and school settings – but remains under-reported. This brief will explore the key themes in Violence Affecting Women and Girls (VAWG) in Kaduna state, drawing from quantitative data from the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) Observa-tory platform, as well as information gathered during a July 2016 workshop convened by NSRP, Education as a Vaccine (EVA) and the Kaduna Observatory Steering Committee (OBSTEC).
Although the number of reported conflict fatalities in Plateau state has fallen in 2016, the effects of displacement and violence continue to reverberate in the lives of women and girls. Continuing to monitor trends and incidents of VAWG, and how they are interrelated to other conflict drivers, is critical to understanding the effects of violence on the lives of women and girls and to better inform prevention and response efforts. Domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault accounted for most of the reported incidents of violence against women and girls in Plateau state between January 2015 and September 2016. This included domestic and sexual abuse by male family members – fathers, husbands, cousins and uncles – as well as by trusted authority figures, such as pastors and members of the security forces.
Comparatively, Kano is one of the more prosperous states in Northern Nigeria. However, the distribution of wealth is uneven. It has also faced a major uptick in insecurity since 2012, as a result of the Jama’atu Ahli Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad (JAS) insurgency. Gender roles within the state also remain unequal, with a report on women’s rights detailing that women, particularly in rural areas, are often precluded from participating in economic decision making, employment outside the home, political engagement, and access to the same level of education as boys. Within the context of both the heightened levels of violence and insecurity in the state, as well as the pervasive norms surrounding the role of women in many communities, the vulnerability of young girls and women to violence and abuse in Kano state remains high.
Using the information shared in the local dialogues, the July 2016 roundtable provided a forum for representatives from the four regions to voice concerns and issues at a national level. It also represent-ed an important opportunity for different communities, government stakeholders and mining, oil and gas companies to connect and share lessons learned and best practices. To provide a more national-level perspective, were stakeholders from the Government of Ghana including the Petroleum Commission, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Ghana Army, Navy and Police, and Ministry of the Interior.
Rivers State has experienced higher levels of violence and conflict-related fatalities in the past six months than at any time since the end of the militant insurgency in 2009. This rise in violence – predominately due to the new wave of militancy, political violence, criminality and cult violence – has been well documented in the media and international spheres. What is not getting reported are the impacts this is having on women and girls. Incidents of sexual assault, targeted criminality against vulnerable groups including girls and pregnant women), and domestic abuse are all major contributors to Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in the state. May 2016 had one of the highest numbers of VAWG-related incidents reported from the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) Rivers State Observatory since its inception.
On the 28th July, 2016 the Fund For Peace (FFP) in partnership with the West Africa Network for Peace Building-Ghana (WANEP-Ghana), staged the first national VPs Roundtable in Accra. Staged as part of a program funded by the U.S. Department of State, this roundtable follows a series of local trainings and dialogues in four regions in Ghana over the past 12 months. The national event included representatives from four community areas affected by oil, gas and mining operations, including the Asutifi District in the Brong-Ahafo region, Adansi West District in the Ashanti region, the Talensi District in the Upper East region and six coastal Districts in the Western region.
FFP and WANEP-Ghana delivered local dialogues to discuss VPs-related issues in mining, and oil/gas affected communities. A total of 73 participants took part across the four regions including the Minerals Commission, the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Navy, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), traditional leadership, companies, local media (Ghana News Agency), the District/Metropolitan Assembly, Ghana National Petroleum Commission, private security providers, and religious bodies.
Published July 15, 2016 | By The Fund for Peace and Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta*
After the 2015 Presidential elections which saw a peaceful transition of power from incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan to General Mohammadu Buhari, many observers have rightfly expressed optimism for the future of Africa’s biggest economy. There is much to be optimistic about. For one, the Boko Haram counter-insurgency campaign has marked significant successes in the Northeast over the last year. However, by contrast in the Niger Delta region, communal, criminal, and election-related violence have been steadily rising. In fact, conflict-related incidents and fatalities in the Niger Delta were higher in the past six months than at any point since the end of the last wave of militancy in 2009.