GOOD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA | A search for the impossible? | Possible way out

Nigeria is a country with great potentials. But, these potentials have been punctured by a myriad of problems. These problems are not caused by a lack of resources but by bad governance shown by the ruling bodies. And this has hindered the developmental drive of the country. Nigeria is recognized as the poverty capital of the world and amidst a dwindling economy, it would seem that hopes of rejuvenating this once great nation is all gone. This state of affairs has been blamed on a lack of good governance in Nigeria.

 

What is Good Governance?

Governance is the process by which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for its development. It is the process of decision making and the process by which such decisions are implemented.

Good governance is a process of measuring how public institutions carry out the affairs of the public and manage its resources. The United Nations Development Programme sees governance as the exercise of power through a country’s economic, social, and political institutions in which institutions represent the organizational rules and routines, formal laws, and informal norms that together shape the incentives of public policy-makers, overseers, and providers of public services.

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Good leadership and governance go hand in hand and work together to bring about all forms of development. Good leadership is concerned with fostering positive change. Both concepts bring positive change for the good of the masses, based on acceptable values to attain the society with a governance that is participatory, accountable, transparent, efficient and effective and above all, based on the rule of law. Good governance entails the establishment of a representative and accountable form of government. Good governance requires policies to promote broad-based economic growth, a dynamic private sector and social policies that will lead to poverty reduction. 

  

Factors of good governance

There are so many factors to consider when assessing the governance of public institutions and governing bodies. These factors are the catalyst for the realization of enhanced performance of government agencies for the development of the society. Such factors include accountability, transparency, regulatory reforms, effectiveness and efficiency, equity, rule of law, effective service delivery and participation. In Nigeria, good governance should be measured by the provision of basic social amenities, employment opportunities, good roads, adequate security, poverty alleviation.

 

Accountability

This is the ability of the citizens, civil society and the private sector to access and analyze the activities of public institutions and government to hold them accountable. Accountability is the life wire of any nation if it to be considered developed. It modifies the actions and decisions taken by the governing bodies.

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Transparency 

When the activities of the government is transparent, it becomes freely accessible and available in an understandable form to the citizens of the country. This brings about openness, truth, and straightforwardness in the running of governmental affairs.

 

Trust

When the public institutions and governing bodies become accountable and transparent in the affairs of the government, the citizens, civil society and private sector will trust their activities. 

 

Participation 

Every citizen should take an active part in the decision making of any government institutions that represent their interest. This concept is known as civic engagement and is one of the programs of SEVICS. The participation needs to be informed and organized, including freedom of expression and assiduous concern for the best interests of the organization and society at large.

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Rule of Law

The legal framework should be fair and enforced without any form of partiality. The rule of law should be enforced by an impartial regulatory institution, for the full protection of its stakeholders.

 

Effectiveness & Efficiency

Good governance ensures that the procedures implemented by all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), produce favorable results which meet the needs of its stakeholders.  Government institutions should produce results that meet needs while making the best use of the resources.

  

Effective Service Delivery

There should be access to basic services such as education, primary health care facilities, electricity, etc as they are the prerequisites for effective development. Basic amenities are the bedrock on which all-round development can be built.            

 

Credible Elections

Elections should be free and fair and not based on appointment by the elites in the society. When government officials are not appointed based on the will of the people but the will of their GODFATHERS”, it promotes the selfish motives and interest of the “GODFATHERS” and not the needs of the citizenry.

 

 

CHALLENGES MILITATING GOOD GOVERNANCE

 There are various challenges that face the good governance in Nigeria. They include the following:

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Corruption

Corruption as dishonest or illegal behavior especially of people in authority.  is the major challenge faced by public institutions and different governing bodies in the society. Corruption is the violation of established rules for personal gain. Corruption is described as efforts to secure wealth or power through illegal means for private gain at public expense; or a misuse of public power for private benefit.  In Nigeria, the forms of corruption include bribery, embezzlement of funds, payoffs, etc.  The majority of officials in the governmental agencies engage in corrupt practices such as embezzling funds meant to be used to provide the basic social amenities in the society, collecting of bribes in the office, roadblock by the police to extort money from commercial drivers and so much more.

 

Management of Public Funds

Because appointment is not based on the merit and required qualification but on favoritism and its vices, there is a lack of efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery. This is because the resources provided are not properly utilized. Rather they are used to provide weapons and ammunition for suppressing political opponents and other persons of divergent views.

 

Politics of Godfatherism 

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Godfatherism in Nigeria has become a thing of concern to the society. The godfathers are the wealthy elites mostly those who held a political position in the past, they anoint their preferred candidate, who they believe can hold a political position while protecting their interests in the society. Most of the godfathers have converted politics from a social engagement to an enterprise where they make more money. The godchildren are not answerable to the society but to the whims and manipulations of the godfathers.

 

Policy Inconsistency

Government instability, policy inconsistency, and over-reliance on foreign ideas to tackle domestic problems are a bane of effective governance in Nigeria. Leaders hardly sustain policies and programs of their predecessor and this brings about uncompleted or abandoned projects littered over the country.

 

 

Prospects of Good Governance

The challenges facing good governance in Nigeria have been analyzed and the following situations can be employed to ensure good governance and development in the society. They are:

1. Disincentivize Political Offices 

Political offices should be made less attractive so the money-conscious politicians are not enticed. Therefore available opportunities are taken up by people who are genuinely concerned about rendering services to the people. The background of prospective political office holders should be screened as a way of bringing about possible reduction in government.

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2. Punish corruption 

Corrupt practices by government officials should attract some great punishments. Penalties for unethical practices or behavior should be enforced severely, so as to serve as a deterrent against future occurrence. The legal frameworks dealing with issues of corruption and bad governance should be redesigned to deal with all defaulters irrespective of status or position. Agencies charged with the duty of prosecuting corruption cases such as the EFCC and ICPC must be empowered to work without undue external influence. 

3. Meaningful appointments

Appointment into the public offices should be transparent, based on merit and qualifications and not biased. The federal government should not create a situation where the offices in the governmental agencies are seen as a platform for rewarding relatives, friends and political associates in terms of appointment.

4. True Independence

Governmental agencies that are independent bodies such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian Judiciary should maintain their independence in structure, appointments, and functions. This can be achieved through the amendment of the constitution to ensure that no single arm of government has a monopoly over such appointments. This must also reflect in the way, these appointees are removed from office. No single arm of the government should have the power to remove principals of independent agencies from office.

5. Immunity from Criminal Prosecution

Constitutional provisions that relate to and support the immunity clause should be revisited. As such, public office holders can be tried while still in office and removed if found wanting. It is wrong to protect criminal elements in government from trial simply because of the position they occupy. There should be no sacred cows in government. Nigerian voters should only vote for candidates with a good record of integrity, good principles, and a proven impeccable character.

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6. National Orientation

There should orientation and re-orientation of leaders and followers on a continuous basis. Values and practices should be internalized in the country by all citizens. This can be achieved through promoting movies, music and other group activities like sports that bring people together. There could be seminars on interest topics that will bring about development to the country. Agencies like the National Orientation Agency, the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Information should lead this process.

 

Conclusion

This article examined the concept, challenges, and prospects of good governance in Nigeria. It also shows that, for a country to be considered a developed country, certain factors such as accountability transparency, responsiveness, equity and so much more are noticeable in the governance of the country. It is also obvious that nonadherence of these causes disunity and lack of cooperation between the citizens and the governing bodies.

In order to bring about development through good governance and curtail corruption and its vices, some solutions must be introduced urgently.

With effective leadership and the minimization of corruption as well as good governance, Nigeria will be able to perform its functions such as; provision of housing, healthcare, security, job creation, education and so much more.

POLICE BRUTALITY IN NIGERIA | HOW TO SEEK REDRESS

“Police is your friend” is a popular maxim displayed in Police Stations across Nigeria. That doesn’t matter anyway since Police Brutality in Nigeria is absolutely higher than it has ever been. Most Nigerians have experienced police brutality or any of its variants. These could be police harassment, extortion, torture, arbitrary detention and in extreme cases, extrajudicial killing. It is safe to say that the widespread fear of the Nigeria Police is justified. I bet you agree. Have you had an encounter with the Police? How did you handle yours? 

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I am my friends ran into some problems with the Police during the holidays.  Below is our story and how we dealt with it.

How We were Robbed by the Police

The small fashion business which I started with three of my friends about 2 years ago was growing. The customer base was increasing and we made big sales during the festive season last year. This new year, we decided to treat ourselves well by buying ourselves a car and going on a vacation to Calabar for some enjoyment. We were on our way back from that vacation, all three of us in the new Hyundai Accent. Then we were stopped on the road by some police officers and asked to pull over. We came down from the car and these police officers started shouting orders with angry voices- ‘Oya open that boot’, ‘where una laptops?’, ‘bring your phone jaree, awon Yahoo boys’.

At that moment, I actually thought these may not be real police officers because I never had such experience before. Upon unlocking our phones, they immediately went to our social media chats, SMS messages, Gallery, Crypto and Forex applications. The chats with our associates in China from where we imported materials for our Fashion business were quickly pinned as our attempt to defraud foreigners using social media. Our crypto wallets were tagged as our way of laundering fraud money without being noticed and the policemen accused us of being internet fraudsters. 

All attempts to explain to these officers fell on deaf ears. They would not hear that we ran a fashion business, not minding the various evidence of our business we showed to them. These officers seized our car key and our phones. We could not make phone calls. Their last resort was that we could either bail ourselves there with ₦50,000 each or if we get to the station. we would be detained and the bail price would increase per person. The three of us could not provide the money there, and we asked to make phone calls for people who would get the money for us. They let us make the calls. Unfortunately, after making the calls, no one could get the money to us because we were on the highway, very far from our State. We then asked the officers if we could make mobile transfer of funds directly to their accounts using our phones. They disagreed at first, insisting that they would detain us in cells if we did not bring the money. However, after much deliberations, they said they would accept mobile transfers only on the condition that we would pay ₦70,000 each. We had no option, we needed to get home, so we transferred the money to them, and they let us go!

The Pain of Loss and Our Resolve to Fight the Police

Kabiru would not have it. He kept on venting his anger throughout our journey home. “Efosa”, he said, calling my attention from the road, “How could we be robbed of our hard-earned money like that? detained and treated like criminals by the very people who were charged to protect us”?  This got me thinking; our business is legitimate and we pay our taxes. Kabiru insisted we must do something about it otherwise we would never be safe, even in the hands of those who should ensure our safety. “These policemen would detain and extort more people, and who says it could not happen to us again? Some of these police officers have so much darkness in their blood as if their black uniform is a symbol of their evil hearts. But I know some other good police officers though, Segun added. 

We knew we had to tackle this. It is our duty as citizens of Nigeria who pay taxes and it is our right as human beings with dignity to follow this issue up. We knew that there is no guarantee that the police officers would be brought to book even if we took action. And we also didn’t know what particular action to take at that moment.

 

Channels for Seeking Redress

The next day, we conducted some research on what could be done and we came up with the following options:

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1.) Get a Lawyer and go to court; This was the most obvious option and the first to come to mind. We didn’t need any research to figure this out, actually. But court cases were always fraught with technicalities, long delays in getting justice and also quite expensive. We would definitely lose more than ₦50,000 each, or spend close to that amount in pursuing the case, and we were not even sure we would win. Technicalities in court can upturn the course of justice. It may well not be worth the stress, we have a business to run.

2.) Go to the National Human Rights Commission; This seemed to be a quicker approach. The commission would take administrative action by sending our grievances to the Commissioner of Police or the Inspector-General of Police, and they could even take up a case in court on our behalf, saving us the expenses. But then again, there was no guarantee that the commission would take up our case seriously, and getting a government agency to help you against another government agency didn’t sound very promising. The success of our case would depend greatly on the weight of evidence we had against these police officers, and in the willingness of the Commission to follow it up with tenacity.

3.) The Police Public Complaints Unit; This is a department of the Nigerian Police Force that deals with public complaints of police brutality. Getting the police to deal with its own officers may be the best way to seek redress, or it may leave us exposed and lead to more persecution by other police officers who could make us a target. Anyway, we have heard news of some police officers being expelled from the Force, and even charged, prosecuted and convicted. We have also heard rumors that these officers who were presented as having been dealt with properly, were simply redeployed to another State, in a jurisdiction where no one would recognize them. Anyway, we were not ruling out this option either. We visited their website using this link. From where we got their contact information. We also learned that every State Police Headquarters have a Human Rights Office where we could go and make our complaints.

4.) The Public Complaints Commission; This commission generally handles complaints against any public officer, civil servant or government office and can be reached here. It seemed a bit wide including them in our options because they deal mostly with Civil servants and other public officials, but we did not rule it out.

There are also many other Non-government organizations which could help in different ways. And we resolved to find these NGOs and see how they can help us too. We decided that since we could not afford option no.1, and there was no guarantee that any single option would provide a remedy, we decided to take options 2 to 4. 

The Irreplaceable Role of Evidence in Claims of Police Brutality

Upon enquires, we understood that whatever channel we would use for seeking redress, concrete evidence was key. Evidence to identify the officers, and to link them with the corrupt practice. Thankfully though, we have a video camera which was attached on the car’s dashboard and captured everything that happened. The camera was able to capture their faces, their names, and numbers as written on their uniforms. Everything that happened that day was recorded. Also, the records of the mobile transfers which we made to their account was extremely relevant. With this evidence, we filed our complaints. And we had hope. Real hope that we would get remedy for the injustice done to us. 

Social Media is a Potent Weapon Against Police Brutality

To fuel the flame of our complaints, we also used our social media and other available media channels to tell the public of our plight with the policemen, and the steps we had taken to seek redress. We also released the video footage to the public. Getting reactions from individuals and organizations made the agencies before which we laid complaints to give priority to our case and make efforts to bring the Police Officers to justice.

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Hope: how it is almost ending… 

Having done these, we had hope. Hope that Human Rights are still real, recognized and enforceable in the Nigerian society. Hope that the Nigeria Police Force still had some discipline and dignity towards its duties, not minding the misconducts of ‘evil’ Police Officers among them. Hope that the ordinary Nigerian citizen can get justice without bribing his way through. Our Joy lies in the fact that by taking steps to enforce our rights instead of sulking and complaining bitterly without doing anything, we would give others hope and encourage them to take steps in enforcing their rights too. 

What you can do?

We now encourage citizens to rise up and gear up. Here are a few suggestions to help you anytime your rights or those of any other persons are being violated: 

  • Make efforts to discreetly take pictures or record videos of the event as this will serve as invaluable evidence in seeking redress. Try to capture the faces of the police officers, and if possible, their names and numbers too. 
  • Remember to be discreet, evil police officers are known to be trigger happy too. 
  • Making wired transfers instead of cash would also provide evidence. 
  • Take note of the location where the event takes place. Police Officers are territorial.

Truly, there is no guarantee of getting a remedy, but the assertion of our freedom and dignity serves as warning bells to the bad police officers to keep off, or they could get burnt by our ‘wahala’. Activate your rights today! 

Have you had any experience of Police brutality? How did you handle yours? Are you taking any precautions to ensure that you do not fall victim to police brutality, extortion, and harassment? Let’s have your thoughts…

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How to be a man │2019 International Men’s Day

“…I stood from my chair and to greet him. She sat on the sofa, he sat on the other chair. I put on the brightest smile I had and tried to speak clearly and fluently. He looked at me, she smiled at me. I looked at him but he didn’t smile back, he had his eyebrows raised. He asked of my age, state of origin, if I was dating, if I lived alone and which of my parents I am close to.

The woman kept smiling at me and wanted answers. So I opened my mouth and gave out the answers making sure it was free from grammatical blunders in my up tone, gentle voice. He asked me to shout as roman soldiers shouted when given commands, whenever he called my name. He wanted to make me strong.

The woman kept smiling at me, her smile whiter than I had noticed before. He asked when I would get married and to what type of girl. I felt embarrassed. He apologized and said he only wanted to know more about me.

He told me that he suspected I should be close to my mom and that she spoilt me. He said that if he were my mother, he would get me out of the house to stay on my own. “He likes men who act like men and are strong because the world is a tough place…”

 

“… I have always longed to be in this choir. I have heard their anthem, it gives me goosebumps. I auditioned and got enlisted in the Tenor part of the choir. It was there I met this wonderful young man who seemed to release the musical potential in me. I drank from his wealth of knowledge on music and took the voice lessons he proposed.

He composes music especially classical pieces and likes me to participate in critique sessions. I took the soprano parts. I discovered that I could sing on that range quite comfortably and told him about it. He encouraged me, showing examples of professional male soprano singers.

We met a friend who was a good Tenor singer. His singing voice was enviable, he could sing comfortably on a high pitched voice and the ladies loved him for it. Trouble came when he heard me sing in my soprano voice. He said it was not good for a man to sing like a woman, that it emasculates them; that he preferred me to sing tenor and he could teach me how to sing better. I turned deaf ears.

In time he made me the object of his every bad joke in our part, so much so that soon afterward I decided to join the soprano part officially. I was in that part till I left the choir…”

 

Men can dream too, let them dream. Men are individuals, let them be unique. Men are persons, let them live their lives. This is not to ask men to become women or less-men. It is a call to allow men to live out their full potential as creatures and children of God, “Children” of God. Bind men with responsibilities, and bind them with the courage to live their dreams. Build men to be strong but teach them that strength lies in the heart, in making the right choices. Tell them that you love them, that you know that they bleed, that they have a right to cry.

 

Happy International Men’s Day!

Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human rights (UDHR)

Article I

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

 

Article 7

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11

  1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
  2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

 

Article 13

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
  2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14

  1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15

  1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.
  2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16

  1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17

  1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
  2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

 

Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
  2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21

1 . Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

  1. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
  2. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23

  1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25

  1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26

  1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
  2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
  3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

 

Article 27

  1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
  2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29

  1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
  2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
  3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Should re-integration be recognized as a human right?

The now globally recognized principle of ‘leave no one behind’ has produced many great initiatives. However, the more the ‘abandoned’ of humankind are enabled to lift themselves up, the more groups there are who need this help. This implies that far too many people do not benefit from policies and government programs. One of such groups are ex-offenders who are most discriminated against based on their past criminal records. While this seems justifiable, it is also fair to wonder why most ex-offenders in the world do not have access to post-incarceration care and reintegration. Why do governments purposefully lack policies that benefit ex-offender from socially excluded groups?

Ex-offenders face many inequalities across the various continents and countries of the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, it is normal to be incarcerated for a period of close to ten years before landing a conviction. Sometimes, from a very minor offense. This is disproportionately skewed to disadvantage the poor and benefit the rich. Since the rich can afford lawyers, fines and bribes that keep them away from incarceration. The less affluent end up in prions and stay locked away for many years before their cases are decided. After incarceration, the affluent can afford reintegration. This cannot be said for the other persons. Like most rights, while the affluent can afford luxurious standards, there must be a basic standard which all persons can afford irrespective of their backgrounds.

 

Rationale for reintegration rights

The greatest challenge many of us endure in working with inmates is explaining why they have rights. Many public holders have been caught with this colossal ignorance. Thus, prison facilities are built merely short of animal pens. It is thought that ‘places that hold criminals should be designed to make a mark on them’. One which would dissuade them from ever committing a crime. In reality, the only mark most prisons give is that of membership to a world of crime. Actually, it is difficult for socially excluded people who have been in prison to return to society. This is true is because they have no place to go to. The right solution would be to help them find a home, but what they often get are warnings and further punishments.

Are we proposing a compensation plan? The answer is Yes! Society gets compensated and we can have a more peaceful world. This needs no overemphasis that society benefits most from the reintegration of ex-offenders.

 

Final thoughts

Human rights are the essence of our mutual existence. Without them, the world would be a place of chaos. This has been the basis of defining international human rights since 1945 and recognizing shared values. Similarly, the understanding of human rights principles have developed over the years and must certainly grow continually until all peoples of the world can stand on equal footing.

Human rights are innate in all men. But they are not beneficial if no one recognizes them. Throughout history, there have come times when the world agreed on what else should be enforceable. It is hoped that this could be one of such times. World leaders must as a matter of urgency, recognize reintegration rights!