By Aluta News
Dec. 11, 2021
The European Union (EU), Head of Cooperation, Ms Cecile Tassin-Peizer, said on Friday that the bloc “remains the strongest supporter of multi-lateralism” with human rights as its core objective.
Tassin-Pelzer said this at the premiere of the stage play titled “First They Came”, a play produced to commemorate the 2021 International Human Rights Day’s celebration.
The day has the theme: “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the stage play, which promotes human rights and social justice, is written by Paul Ugbede and directed by Kenneth Uphopho.
The play speaks about the injustice of some corrupt government officials and how the police manipulate the law to their favour and dehumanise innocent persons in a peaceful protest that turns into a nightmare.
The story further talks about five men who were jailed without trial, and while in jail one was killed for speaking out against injustice to humanity.
Tassin-Pelzer said the human rights day was about16 days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, adding that the days were mandatory and aimed at creating awareness on the need for action to eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls.
She said in the course of the 16 days activism, an EU delegation and its implementing partners – the Nigerian government – organised and participated in 20 different events with their development partners and civil society organisations.
“Specific attention went to November 25th, which is the international Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, December 3rd is the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, and today, which marks the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
“Today, it is more important than ever to recall that human rights are universal and indivisible, and that our efforts to defend them can never stop.
“Protecting and promoting human rights and democracy is one of the founding values of the EU and a key priority of the EU’s action. It is a pre-condition for sustainable development and for building more inclusive societies.
“In Nigeria the EU developed a human rights and Democracy Country Strategy for the coming years, and we are using all our tools to implement this Strategy: Human rights dialogue, statements, campaigns, public events, human rights based approach to development cooperation, thematic projects on human rights and democracy that supports civil society actors promoting human rights democracy,” she said.
According to her, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated some challenges related to human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.
“In many parts of the world, we have seen worrying trends.
“Censorship and restrictions to freedom of expression, discrimination, deepening inequalities, and increase in Violence against women and girls, as well as arbitrary detention.
“We have done a lot but more needs to be done,” she added.
According to her, looking to 2022 and beyond, the EU commits to working alongside its partners to showcase leadership on human rights issues and continue working to strengthen human protection in Nigeria and the world at large.