Conflict transformation INGO, Search for Common Ground, (SFCG) is unfolding a two day workshop for Civil Society Organisations, (CSOs) in the context of constructing coalitions against human rights violations in the northern Nigerian human rights space. The two day event commencing August 24th is a zonal level engagement involving Borno and Adamawa states. Structured within a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) capacity building, it seeks to privilege consciousness about human rights violations as well as the skills on handling such in its different manifestations.
Containing human rights violations has a unique, universal problem in that governments or state power is both the key conflict party in human rights violations as well as the enforcer of human rights standards. Against this background, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) capacity building becomes a primary step towards checking and reducing incidence of violation since they play/perform the distinctive role of ‘Orchestration’. ‘Orchestration’ is a governance approach in which National Human Rights Commissions act as intermediaries between the United Nations, the key international organisation which animates the global human rights regime and nation states within whose national space violations take place. Although the UN does not exercise power over National Human Rights Commissions, it influences state power through it and some researchers believe National Human Rights Commissions have added value to the struggle to reduce violations across the world.
International conflict intervention NGOs such as Search for Common Ground that enter the realm of capacity building for National Human Rights Commissions on checking violation of human rights are thus adding value to the principle of ‘Orchestration’ and, therefore, helping both the UN and the Nigerian State in expanding the human rights agenda.
The workshop has been scheduled to take place at the American University of Nigeria (AUN) Hotel Conference Centre in Yola. It closes on Friday. It bears repeating that the northeast of Nigeria has been the theatre of an on-going counter-insurgency operation perceived to have been characterised by extremes of violation of human rights by both the insurgents and state forces. The claims in this regard in respect of rules of engagement is already subject of a Federal Government of Nigeria investigation following pressures to that effect.