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Explainer : Important Things To Know About Ekiti Gender-Based Violence (Prohibition) Law, 2019

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Tuesday, December 17th, 2019
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Last week, a report by Constitutional Rights Awareness and Liberty Initiative adjudged  Ekiti state as the most human rights-friendly state in the western part of Nigeria in commemoration of this year’s International Human Rights Day in Lagos.
Ekiti state came first in the western, eastern and southern part of Nigeria.
Due to the upward swing in sexual abuse especially underaged girls in the state, the Ekiti state government in a bid to check the scourge became the first state in Nigeria to enact the first legislation “Gender-Based Violence (Prohibition) Law, 2011” during the John Fayemi administration. The law has been amended twice, one in 2015 when after the amendment it was named  “Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) ACT, 2015.” The recent amendment which seeks to prohibit violence against the male and female gender was renamed again in 2019, “Gender-Based Violence (Prohibition) Law, 2019”.
The legislation, “Gender-Based Violence (Prohibition) Law, 2019“,  is an amended version of the law “Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) ACT, 2015.”
The law was pioneered by the Ekiti state First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi to address gender-based complaints who will ensure access to justice.
Here are some key amendment to the law : 
1. Change of Title : The law received an amendment alongside a new name Gender-Based Violence (Prohibition) Law, 2019″ as it was in 2011 when it was first made. The law seeks to prohibit violence against the male and female gender. The previous name was “Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) ACT, 2015.
2. Establishment of a gender court, GBV Management committee, sexual assault response center.
Part II section 26 provides for the establishment of at least three” Gender Court” in the three senatorial districts.
While subsection provides for “… a Rehabilitative Centre to aid in rehabilitating perpetrators of gender-based violence.”
3. Training of officials: While Part II section 40 states that “(1) There shall be training on regular basis for Judges, Law Enforcement Officers, Counsellors, Medical Officers, Social Welfare Officers and other major stakeholders to equip them on how to effectively handle cases of gender-based violence.
(2)  There shall be training on a regular basis for members of the community to increase people’s awareness of gender-based violence and to encourage them on how such violence could be handled and eradicated.
4. Dangerous sexual offenders:  The legislation reserve the right to label some offenders as “Dangerous Sexual Offenders provided that the person has been convicted before. And provided that the sexual offence is against a minor. This is provided in the part II section 42 subsection 1 of the law.
5. Clear and distinct punitive measures for each sexual offence, as opposed to the previous one this one of 2015.

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