Conflict transforming and peace building international NGO, Search for Common Ground is stepping up its five year old project titled “Constructing Coalitions to Reduce Human Rights Abuse in Northern Nigeria”. In the latest phase, it is availing 13 grantees of Small Grants across Borno and Adamawa states.
The grants which fall under the larger umbrella of Small Grants for Accountability Journalism and Research aims to promote accountability and to increase the visibility of salient Human Rights issues in Northeast Nigeria by offering support to civil society organizations and journalists to showcase under-reported human rights issues that affect the population of the northeast. Search is, therefore, partnering with civil society organizations and the National Human Rights Commission’s in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, and Plateau States to achieve the overall goal of strengthening engagement and advocacy processes to reduce security sector human rights abuses in northeastern Nigeria.
The project aims to, among others, build CSO and NHRC capacity in human rights monitoring, reporting and advocacy; establishing a platform between the NHRC, civil society, and judiciary for effective action and improve communication and understanding between affected communities, key stakeholders and security actors on human rights issues.
Coming on the heels of the training of journalists on conflict sensitivity and Search for Common Ground’s Small Grants to support journalists and CSO’s, this would be by showcasing the positive examples of collaboration between population, civil society and/or state agencies in order to contribute to an increased accountability around the issue of human rights abuses.
Reviewed by a jury of experts from the INGO, the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the grantees were assessed on the bases of the innovativeness; relevance of the Human Rights issue(s) to be tackled; reach as well as quality of dissemination plan; inclusiveness of the methodology and relevance of the Budget.
Search’s intervention thus speaks to the global concern to humanise wars and protect non-combatants from vulnerability to targeting. In the post Cold War, however, the historical concern with humanising war has suffered serious setback as wars are no more the exclusive preserve of clearly identifiable national militaries but an arena for militants, criminals, warlords and terrorists. Human rights issues have, therefore, come to the front row in the conduct of wars. The Northeast remains the major theatre for some of these excesses in the context of the Boko Haram insurgency. Along with the Niger Delta and the Middlebelt, it has attracted Search’s intervention over the years.