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The 2024 Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) National Conference in Nigeria. Lessons shared and recommendations. 

THEME: SRHR: Culture and Social Norms Within Communities

A Coalition of Small and Medium Organizations dedicated to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) emerged through the Amplify Change grant facilitated by Lawyers Alert from 2018 to 2020. This initiative recently culminated in a landmark event: the 1st SRHR National Conference in Nigeria, themed “SRHR Culture and Social Norms within Communities.”

Lawyers Alert organized and facilitated the Conference under the auspices of the SRHR Movement. The Conference brought together experts and advocates to delve into the multifaceted challenges impeding SRHR progress. Participants included Key SRHR Advocates, SRHR CSOs, the LGBTIQ+ Community, FSW, and Donors. Conversations were both at plenary and panel sessions.  

Discussions covered a wide range of pressing topics, including safe medical abortion, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), female genital mutilation, LGBTQI+, HIV and the health status of SRHR in Nigeria, including information sharing and networking. It drew on the expertise of global, regional, national, and grassroots organizations, including donors, development workers, NGOs, and community-based groups.

Several recommendations emerged:

• Massive awareness creation at especially community and ward levels, using local champions to speak against norms and culture that inhibit the right of women to choices, FGM, and encourage gender equality and empowerment using community platforms.

• Delegates should, at all occasions and interventions, emphasize the human rights of key populations and sexual minorities in all advocacy and intervention strategies

• Strengthening the SRHR Movement in Nigeria through organizational and advocacy skills, strengthening and establishing more inclusive and expansive platforms to amplify SRHR narratives and foster robust networking among stakeholders.

• Encouraging large and strong CSOs and agencies always to strive to include small and medium-sized SRHR grassroots organizations in their work and provide sub-grants aimed at building the capacity of SRHR organizations, enabling them to acquire new knowledge and skills.

• Developing a comprehensive SRHR National Advocacy Plan to guide strategic advocacy efforts and effectively address SRHR challenges using the SRHR Movement platform.

• Nigeria repeals laws and policies that undermine sexual and reproductive health rights, freedom of expression and assembly, and recognizes gender and sexual diversity. 

• Repeal Section 12 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and other ancillary laws that inhibit the domestication and application of International SRHR treaties, conventions, and protocols that Nigeria signs and ratifies. 

• Proactive and deliberate engagement with government entities such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), and National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme (NTBLCP) to ensure a quality response to SRHR issues. This will also enhance the present inadequate support from the government.

The Conference highlighted the necessity for collaborative efforts and strategic partnerships to overcome barriers to the enjoyment of sexual and reproductive rights. This collective endeavour underscores the importance of unified action in advancing the SRHR agenda in Nigeria, striving for a future where every individual’s sexual and reproductive health and rights are respected and upheld.


On May 2, 2024, at the Reiz Continental Hotel in CBD, Abuja, Lawyers Alert organized a workshop funded by Stop TB Partnership for NTBLCP personnel on Law, Gender, and Rights in TB Response. The objective was to enhance the NTBLCP Human Rights and Gender Action Plan and foster collaboration for a rights-based TB response in Nigeria. The session began with participant registration, coordinated by Ayomide Joshua, followed by a welcome address from Rommy Mom, President of Lawyers Alert. Rommy Mom underscored the significance of understanding the legal, gender, and rights issues surrounding TB.

Goodwill/Keynote Messages

Caoimhe Smyth from Stop TB Partnership delivered the first keynote message, highlighting the workshop's importance and encouraging active engagement. She praised the impactful work of Lawyers Alert and NTBLCP on TB in Nigeria. Dr. Jamila, representing the national coordinator of NTBLCP, gave the second keynote message, expressing gratitude for the training and emphasizing its relevance for NTBLCP staff.

First Technical Session: Human Rights, Gender & the Law

In the first technical session, Rommy Mom, President of Lawyers Alert, presented on the topic of "Understanding Human Rights and the Law - Mainstreaming Gender and Vulnerability in Law and Human Rights." Rommy discussed the universality and inherent nature of human rights, tracing historical contexts like the slave trade and human trafficking issues of 1948. He emphasized the importance of avoiding stigma and discrimination in the context of TB, highlighting that human rights are applicable to all individuals regardless of disability, race, or other characteristics. Rommy also explained the different types of rights, such as the right to life, and discussed how individuals can experience multiple forms of discrimination. He stressed the necessity for TB-specific laws and policies to protect vulnerable groups.

During this session, participants explored options for recognizing gender identities beyond "male" or "female." Strategies were discussed for raising awareness about individual rights among TB patients. The relationship between cultural rights and human rights was examined, highlighting potential conflicts and resolutions. Legal aspects of patients' rights under the Nigerian Constitution were considered, including the right to informed consent and confidentiality.

Second Technical Session: A TB Survivor’s Perspective

In the second technical session, Bamidele Jacobs, Director Legal at Lawyers Alert, shared insights from a TB survivor's perspective, discussing the human rights implications and historical context of TB. He highlighted significant changes in May 2019 in Geneva, which underscored the need to integrate human rights and gender considerations into TB response efforts. Bamidele differentiated between rights infringements by the government (offenses) and individuals (violations), emphasizing the importance of the right to life for TB patients. He also stressed the necessity of obtaining informed consent before conducting medical tests and described Lawyers Alert’s role as a safe space for legal support, providing a toll-free line and a mailing address for assistance.

Third Technical Session: Leveraging Nigerian Law and Courts to Combat TB Human Rights Violations

The third technical session, also presented by Bamidele Jacobs, focused on using Nigerian law and the court system to address TB-related human rights violations. Jacobs explored various legal frameworks and mechanisms available in Nigeria for seeking remedies and ensuring accountability for human rights abuses related to TB. He discussed the sources of laws in Nigeria, the role of the Nigerian court system in upholding human rights, and the implications of the TB patient charter for patient rights and service provision.


The workshop significantly deepened NTBLCP staff's understanding of the legal, gender, and rights dimensions of TB response. This collaborative effort by Lawyers Alert, Stop TB Partnership, and NTBLCP marks a pivotal step towards a more inclusive and rights-based approach to TB control in Nigeria. Participants left better equipped to advocate for and implement policies protecting the rights of persons living with TB.


Over the years, Lawyers Alert has been at the forefront of protecting the rights of Persons Affected by Tuberculosis (PATBs) and documentation of human rights violations associated with TB.

In a significant milestone, Lawyers Alert, backed by the Stop TB Partnership Geneva, has released the "Report of Human Rights Violations Associated with Tuberculosis (TB) in Nigeria." This comprehensive report aligns with the Human Rights and Gender Action Plan for Tuberculosis Care and Prevention in Nigeria 2021 – 2025.

The report, developed in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP), aggregates data from various sources. These include inputs from partners, PATBs, individuals on treatment, state agencies, and the OneImpact project. This data, meticulously collated and analyzed using the Lawyers Alert Documentation Tool (LADOCT), aims to support efforts to end TB-related violations and foster a robust, gender-sensitive, and human rights-based TB response.

On May 3rd, 2024, a Validation Meeting was held to discuss the report. Key stakeholders from the TB intervention sector attended, including representatives from NTBLCP, the Lagos State TB program, the Benue State TB program, DHDC, civil society organizations (CSOs), and international organizations working on TB. Their valuable inputs have been incorporated into the document.

This report is set to be integrated into the national data on TB, marking a significant step forward in the fight against tuberculosis and the protection of human rights in Nigeria.

The Research On The Nigeria TB Legal Scorecard in Partnership with Stop TB Partnership.

In collaboration with Stop TB Partnership, Lawyers Alert is researching the Nigeria TB Legal Scorecard. This document analyzes Nigeria's legal framework, policies, and practices related to tuberculosis (TB), focusing on human rights protections using the eight CRG themes. Our goal is to strengthen legal frameworks, enhance human rights protections, empower advocacy, and highlight legislative areas for improvement.

To deepen our understanding and refine our legal findings Lawyers Alert conducted a focus group discussion (FGD) today, May 17th, 2024. The purpose was to review the collated data and gain deeper insights to enrich our research further. The insights from this discussion will shape Nigeria's TB.


At a town hall meeting organized by the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development, efforts to combat sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Benue State and beyond were discussed in depth. Key highlights included the review of the Benue State VAPP law, the provision of free legal services to survivors, and the enhancement of SARC centers across five states in Nigeria. 

Grace Udoo Tyowua provided an overview of SGBV's background from both legal and social perspectives. The discussion also covered the causes of SGBV, barriers to accessing justice, and ongoing mitigation efforts.

The event engaged religious and traditional leaders, emphasizing gender justice and sharing insights from civil society organizations (CSOs) active in Benue. These CSOs have been instrumental in protecting women, girls, and vulnerable individuals.

The goal is to empower traditional and religious leaders to protect the vulnerable and contribute significantly to reducing SGBV.


Stakeholder Engagement and Capacity Building

We conducted stakeholder engagement and enhanced the capacity of small and medium-sized SRHR organizations on effective advocacy in Nasarawa, Benue, and Plateau States, under the advancing capacity and reducing vulnerabilities for key populations (KPs) and gender minorities project. These initiatives were undertaken in partnership with ORHI, ICEVsNigeria and the Hope Alive Health Awareness Initiative.

During these sessions, the knowledge of SRHR organizations was enhanced on effective advocacies towards reducing the vulnerabilities of KPs in the project states.   Significant barriers to accessing services were identified and Stakeholders committed to taking concrete actions to help KPs access justice, health, and other fundamental rights that are often violated.


In our ongoing efforts to establish adequate laws and remedies for rights violations affecting persons with TB, we were honored to host the Clerk and Secretariat of the National Assembly Committee on Communicable Diseases, Aneke Nnena Gladys Mary, and Henry Christopher, at our Abuja office today.

During the meeting, we discussed the current legal landscape for TB in Nigeria, identified gaps in available remedies, and planned our upcoming retreat with the National Assembly. 

Lawyers Alert is implementing a regional project that engages parliamentarians and judges in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Zimbabwe to promote a gender and rights-based approach to TB interventions, ensuring that the rights of TB patients and those affected by TB are respected and fulfilled.

In addition to the National Assembly retreat, we will also be holding a judicial dialogue in the coming weeks. The visit from the Clerk of the Committee is part of our ongoing engagements with the National Assembly to further these important initiatives.

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